Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson clashed with jiu-jitsu ace Wilson Reis last night (April 15, 2017) at UFC on FOX 24 inside Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
It’s pretty safe to say that Johnson has fought — and beat — just about every Flyweight worth fighting. Heading into this match, Johnson was looking to extend his title defense streak even further. Reis may be a long-time veteran with some dangerous skill, but very few gave him any chance in this match up. Nevertheless, the grappler intended to shock the world and went after Johnson in the early goings of the fight.
Unfortunately, he spent most of that time punching air.
Johnson opened the bout as usual, establishing his range and digging inside low kicks. His opponent attempted to stalk and close range, but “Mighty Mouse’s” was far too excellent. Each time Reis really committed to moving forward, Johnson had already pivoted away, and he often returned with good strikes.
Throughout the round, everything Johnson did worked, whereas Reis was unable to accomplish much of anything. Johnson landed at a very high rate with sharp counter punches, and he also went on the offensive with kicks to all targets. Meanwhile, he made his opponent miss over and over, stuffing a pair of takedown attempts for good measure.
Reis didn’t get beaten up, but he was soundly out-classed in the first.
Reis made a bit of an adjustment to attack with more low kicks in the second, which did allow him to land on occasion. Nevertheless, Johnson’s footwork clinic continued, as he switched stances around Reis’ offense, suddenly emerging at a great angle to throw.
The most effective shots of the round were undoubtedly Johnson’s counter blows. As Reis attempted to move forward, Johnson would suddenly stop with a stiff cross or body kick. Near the end of the round, Johnson planted and drilled a knee into his foe’s mid-section, which dropped Reis to the mat.
Reis’ face and body was starting to wear the abuse just 10 minutes in.
The third round was really more of the same on the feet. Johnson continued to shift around his opponent and sting him with hard shots, forcing Reis to take ugly shots to no avail. This time around, Johnson landed his own takedown into side control, where he landed big elbows and hunt for his usual chain of submissions.
Eventually, Johnson moved into the mount and battered his fatigued foe with punches and elbows. Reis didn’t have the energy to do much more than cover up, which created Johnson’s opening to spin for the arm bar.
The jiu-jitsu ace did little to defend, allowing Johnson to score another submission via arm bar.
This was yet another perfect performance from Johnson. He did pretty much everything he wanted to do, picking his opponent apart and slowly battering him into a shell. Over time, Reis slowed down and became far less dangerous, which allowed Johnson to ramp it up even further.
Johnson’s striking defense was amazing. His ability to fight from his preferred range constantly is perhaps unmatched, as Johnson’s combination of stance shifts and pivots kept his opponent swinging at air constantly.
It was a route.
Johnson has two real options moving forward. At some point, there should be a trilogy match with Joseph Benavidez, who is currently on a six fight win streak. Alternatively, a showdown with the winner of Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw would be a phenomenal contest.
There’s not much to say about Reis’ performance. His opponent was simply so far superior on the feet that Reis had very little chance to get any grappling going. Instead, he was trapped on the feet, where Johnson beat him up until he was no longer a grappling threat.
Reis probably shouldn’t have been in the cage with Johnson in the first place ... and it looked that way.
Last night at UFC on FOX 24, Demetrious Johnson completely out-classed another foe to tie the all-time title defense record. Who should ‘Mighty Mouse’ face next?
For complete UFC on FOX 24: “Johnson vs Reis” results and live play-by-play, click HERE!