The co-main event of today's (Sat., March 8, 2014) UFC Fight Night 37: "Gustafsson vs. Manuwa" fight card taking place at the O2 Arena in London, England, on UFC Fight Pass, featured former Ultimate Fighter finalist Michael Johnson testing his contender status against the always dangerous Melvin Guillard.
That was the point of this, right?
Well, he was aggressive as could be, pushing forward with punches and showing very little respect for the "Young Assassin's" punching power. He paid the price for it a few times too, taking some hard shots.
Get one to give one and all that.
Guillard, for his part, was incredibly patient with his offense. He wasn't holding back, necessarily, but he certainly wasn't recklessly jumping in with combinations like he's done in days gone by.
Still, Johnson proved himself capable of not only surviving a firefight with his hard-hitting opponent, but winning it. He scored a knockdown late in the second round to set up a crucial final frame.
In that round, Johnson simply looked like the stronger, faster and more capable of the two. He blitzed and bombed Guillard while avoiding taking too much damage in return.
In short, he executed a potentially dangerous game plan to near perfection and established himself as a real contender in the lightweight division, if he wasn't already.
The final judges scores: 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28, all in favor of Johnson.
For complete UFC Fight Night 37 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.