History was made last night (Sat., June 14, 2014) when 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson took on Ali Bagautinov in the first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight main event on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card of UFC 174 from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
"Mighty Mouse" came in with five straight mixed martial arts (MMA) victories, his last being an insane first round knockout of the tough Joseph Benavidez at UFC on FOX 9 in Dec. 2013.
Johnson was looking to clean out the Top 5 of his division against the No. 4-ranked Bagautinov, who had stormed onto the UFC scene by defeating three straight opponents. "Puncher King" had the chance to shock the world, but when it was all said and done, he became yet another victim for "Mighty Mouse" to showcase his dominant skills.
The fight began with Johnson controlling the pace. "Puncher King" grabbed a kick to snap a counter, following up with a strong kick to the body. The fighters were taking quite some time to get into a flow, with precious few shots being thrown. Bagautinov rushed with a big right hand that whiffed badly.
He clinched up against the cage only to eat some light knees from "Mighty Mouse." Boos began to develop from the crowd as the referee urged them to puck up the pace. Johnson landed knees from the Thai clinch, but Bagautinov slammed him to end the first round.
The second round kicked off with Johnson landing an inside leg kick. He stalked Bagautinov with a takedown attempt, but "Puncher" reversed to clinch. Johnson continued using angles t neutralize Bagautinov's offense, landing a head kick. "Mighty Mouse" followed with more and leg kicks and a sharp punch. Bagautinov threw a shot upstairs and clinched again, scoring a few knees to the leg and body of Johnson. Bagautinov went deep on a takedown, which allowed Johnson to land some good elbows.
"Mighty Mouse" snapped a hard kick and landed a combo to start the third round, and "Puncher" looked to clinch once more. Johnson went for more knees and landed a big right hand.
Bagautinov had no answer for the insane movement of the champion, clearly outscoring the challenger. He suddenly came alive with a slam, but he couldn't hold down "Mighty Mouse." Johnson continued to land his low kicks, staving off a single leg to land some knees. Bagautinov got another takedown, immediately seeing the tables turned by Johnson's high-level striking pace.
Johnson's footwork continued to rule the day in the fourth round. More knees from the Thai clinch landed, and Bagautinov probably needed a finish. Johnson snapped his jab and kept walking down the more flat-footed Bagautinov with his kicks. Johnson missed a smooth takedown attempt but continued to outclass his opponent. Johnson slipped and resumed landing endless knees to look for a choke as he closed the fourth round.
Johnson was fresh to start the fifth round. His Muay Thai clinch was dominant, and Bagautinov looked to grapple against the cage. Johnson switched to a takedown attempt but soon returned to his clinch for more knees. That was the story of the final round as Bagautinov's body was just simply battered from all the punishment. He screamed out in pain but fought on, scoring a big right hand. Johnson threw a wheel kick and finished the dominant performance in the famous clinch.
Johnson landed a lofty 128 clinch strikes in the one-sided victory. He now owns win over all of the Top 5 challengers in his division, and he's made a very strong case for being the world's No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter.
His dominance is a sight to behold, but with flyweight seriously lacking in challengers, it remains unclear if he will headline another PPV next.
The only opponent even close to worthy of facing him is John Dodson, and "Mighty Mouse" already beat him at UFC on FOX 6. Still, Dodson is the only one with the speed to contend with Johnson, so that will most likely be the next flyweight title fight.
The loss will be a tough one for Bagautinov. He may have injured himself during the bout, so we'll have to wait and see what is announced. He's still clearly one of the best flyweights in the world, so a bout with former title challenger Benavidez makes sense for "Puncher King."
Demetrious Johnson continued to rule the UFC flyweight division with an iron fist with a one-sided destruction of the dangerous Ali Bagautinov. Can anyone contend with the surging "Mighty Mouse?"