Two exciting welterweights entered the Octagon with vastly different gameplans yesterday (April 14, 2012) when John Maguire took on DaMarques Johnson on the UFC on Fuel TV 2 main card yesterday in Stockholm, Sweden.
One (Maguire), wanted to take the fight to the canvas where he could show off his effective grappling and ground and pound while the other (Johnson) wanted to stand and trade where he could land his powerful kicks and punches on the feet.
Unfortunately for Johnson, he was unable to remain upright for as long as he would have liked as he repeatedly found himself on his back and eventually suffered the consequences.
So how was Maguire able to stifle Johnson's attack and eventually overwhelm him? And what's next for both fightters?
Follow me after the jump for our John Maguire vs DaMarques Johnson UFC on Fuel TV 2 post-fight review and analysis:
Johnson quickly took command of the striking exchanges early, landing a series of nice high inside leg kicks which painfully attacked that nerve in the upper thigh. Maguire quickly decided he'd had enough of that and closed the distance with a looping overland left which forced Johnson to defend just long enough for him to grab a single leg and turn the corner, taking the fight to the ground.
Once on the canvas, Johnson wasn't completely defenseless. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt attacked with an omaplata from his back and nearly swept Maguire but was unable to land on top position during the resulting scramble.
Maguire patiently advanced his attack throughout the round, eventually taking Johnson's back in the final 30 seconds but was unable to score a finish before the horn.
In the second round, Maguire wasted no time at all closing the distance and connecting with another overhand left before grabbing a single leg and dumping Johnson on his back. Johnson was ready for him this time, however, and he was able to sweep Maguire the second he dropped to the canvas and take top position on the ground.
Johnson attacked with a few elbows and even passed to side control before Maguire wisely turtled and worked his way back to his feet. In the stand-up, Maguire had some serious issues dealing with Johnson's powerful leg kicks, showing noticeable frustration when Johnson repeatedly connected to the inside of his right thigh. When Johnson got a little too close for comfort, though, Maguire was able to score a takedown from the clinch which led to a magnificent fight-ending sequence.
After passing to half guard, Johnson held on and was attempting to attack with a Kimura from bottom, but he was not in a very good position to actually do anything with the hold. Instead, Maguire passed to side control, grabbed one of Johnson's free arms which had just moments before been attacking him and then stepped over into an absolutely beautiful armbar along the fence. Once he extended Johnson's arm, "Darkness" was forced to tap or snap and he wisely choose to tap out.
The finish was so impressive it earned Maguire "Submission of the Night" honors in a night filled with a total of six submission victories.
For DaMarques Johnson, he had his moments, but his inability to fend off the takedown or take full advantage of his opportunities was his downfall here. He didn't follow up his strong leg kicks with good punches to the head and he very unwisely clinched with Maguire after standing back up in the second round. Lastly, he continued to attack with a Kimura from bottom after clearly losing the position to do anything with it and that ended up being his downfall.
He's still an exciting welterweight who always produces finishes in his fight so I think they'll keep him around, especially since he's not on a losing streak or anything. I'd like to see him take on fellow UFC on Fuel loser Papy Abedi. Either that or fellow recent losers David Mitchell or perhaps Dan Stittgen
For John Maguire, he needed to take this fight to the ground and attack with his superior grappling and he did just that. I would have liked to see him throw a few more strikes once in a favorable position to soften Johnson up, but he ended up finishing the fight via submission so who am I to tell him what to do? His takedowns were solid and were set up very nicely with that big, looping overhand left. Hopefully he can continue to set up his takedowns well in the future.
Now that he's 2-0 in the UFC, I'd like to see Maguire get a boost in competition level. Fellow event winners Siyar Bahurdazada, Simeon Thoresen or James Head would all be interesting opponents. Regardless, it'll be interesting to see what he's capable of once he faces someone who he can't manhandle on the ground.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Was Maguire's exciting finish enough to earn him "Submission of the Night" honors on a night filled with tapouts? Do you see him ever breaking out of the crowded middle of the UFC's welterweight division?
For complete UFC on Fuel TV 2 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.