The reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson returned to the Octagon tonight (Sat., April 25, 2015) to battle upstart contender Kyoji Horiguchi in the main event at UFC 186 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
"Mighty Mouse" ultimately proved why he is widely considered to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, earning the latest stoppage in UFC history.
The first round kicked off with a beautiful right body kick from Horiguchi. Both men exchanged shots over the next minute or so, but Horiguchi landed the best shot with a right and left hook on the champ's chin. Johnson failed on a takedown, but was able to catch a kick and clinch Horiguchi moments later.
After not much action on the fence, they met back in the center of the cage. "Mighty Mouse" popped off a picturesque five punch combination that stunned Horiguchi before he took down his Japanese opponent. Johnson landed a few shots on the fence, but Horiguchi got to his feet as the champ attempted to take full mount. Horiguchi pushed forward with a nice combination of his own, showing off his lightning fast technique to end the round.
What a blur of a first round.
The second round was conducted at the same lighting fast pace, with Johnson coming out firing early. After Johnson landed a highlight-reel combination, Horiguchi stormed back with a flying knee before taking down the champ. He, of course, couldn't keep "Mighty Mouse" down, but it sure was impressive.
Johnson returned the favor with a takedown of his own moments later, and they spent a good portion of time grappling for position. When Horiguchi would get to his feet, the champ would take him down once again. This happened three times before Horiguchi was able to get to his feet and land a shot.
"Mighty Mouse" was looking to close the distance, and the champ's pressure was clearly wearing on the challenger.
Round three saw Johnson once again establish the pace with some body kicks and pressure. Horiguchi answered, but he was clearly more gassed than the champ. Johnson got Horiguchi's back in a scramble, but the challenger was able to fight back to his feet again.
As the fight wore on, Horiguchi slowed while the champ kept the pressure high. Horiguchi was able to land a few stiff kicks and hooks, but was unable to put together combinations without getting taken down by Johnson. With about two minutes to go in the third round, "Mighty Mouse" transitioned into side mount and ultimately crucifix position. If it wasn't for the bell, the champ may have finished the fight.
Likely down three rounds heading into the championship rounds, Horiguchi's corner told him he needs to knock out Johnson in order to win the fight. Unfortunately for him, "Mighty Mouse" was unwilling to eat any haymakers. The champ suffocated Horiguchi for much of the round, completely controlling his opposition in the grappling and wrestling department.
At this point in the fourth, Johnson was doing as he pleased, not giving Horiguchi even a moment to catch his breath as his nose spewed blood. When the challenger got some space, the champ jumped right back in to control the pace. It seemed only a matter of time before Johnson would get the finish.
It took Johnson less than 15 seconds to take down Horiguchi in the final round of the title fight. Horiguchi threatened with a triangle, but it was little more than a hail mary. The challenger did happen to get to his feet one more time, but Johnson got him back down on the mat just a few seconds later.
With the fight already sealed in the bag, Johnson poured it on with ground and pound in the crucifix position before masterfully transitioning into an armbar for the last second submission win.
In the end, "Mighty Mouse" earned his sixth straight UFC title defense alongside the LATEST finish in UFC history. It was definitely another impeccable performance from the champ.
For complete results from UFC 186: "Johnson vs. Horiguchi," including play-by-play updates, click here.