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TUF 25 Finale results from last night: Justin Gaethje vs Michael Johnson fight recap

MMA: The Ultimate Fighter-Johnson vs Gaethje Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight heavy hitters Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje clashed last night (July 7, 2017) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 25 Finale inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

On paper, this was really a perfect match up. Johnson represented the trial-by-fire UFC product; a great athlete who had both won and lost against the world’s absolute best. His record may not ever be that pretty, but Johnson had earned his No. 5 position the hard way. Meanwhile, Gaethje ran through some tough — but not world-class — fighters in his previous promotion, and he was being given the chance to continue his winning ways in the big show.

Johnson struck first, cracking his opponent with a nasty pair of left crosses. Gaethje wobbled away and threw back immediately, and both men landed. Before long, Gaethje had his foe pinned along the fence, where he landed a hard series of right hands. Just a minute in, both fighters had already absorbed some terribly hard shots.

With Johnson on the defensive, Gaethje really began chopping his opponent’s lead leg. Johnson was doing a decent job of avoiding punches, but he failed to stop the low kicks from landing. That limited his movement quite a bit, and Gaethje began to find a home more often for his power punches.

After getting beaten up for a lot of the round, Johnson found a perfect right uppercut that badly rocked his opponent. He swarmed with power punches and a takedown, finishing the round by beating the shit out of Gaethje for the final 20 seconds.

It was an insane first round that lived up to expectations.

Johnson did a better job of circling and using his movement to start the second. Gaethje continued to chop the legs, but Johnson did a better job of picking angles to counter from. That resulted in a brutal cross that took away Gaethje’s knees, but the Arizona-native was able to survive and return to the brawl.

Both men kept landing despite their fatigue. Gaethje’s low kicks and jabs were his best weapons, while Johnson dug to the body often. With a little over a minute remaining, Gaethje returned the favor by rocking Johnson with a brutal uppercut. Johnson’s legs were gone, and Gaethje just kept pouring it on with more uppercuts and knees. Eventually, it was too much, and Johnson crumbled along the fence.

Holy shit.

Gaethje brought his classic brand of violence to the Octagon, and it was biblical. “The Menace” found more success in rocking and nearly knocking Gaethje out than anyone else, but Gaethje’s attrition-style and inside boxing eventually broke him down to nothing like everyone else.

From the beginning of the fight, Gaethje was breaking down Johnson’s legs. That really shut down Johnson’s attempts to stick and move, as simply walking became a difficult task. Instead, he had to trade with Gaethje, and that eventually lead to his demise.

Gaethje is a brutal fighter. I like his chances just fine against any fighter in the world, be it Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, or Khabib Nurmagomedov. He better fight one of them soon, as his career isn’t going to last forever.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of for Johnson. He absolutely went to war with the sport’s most violent men, and he did has damnedest to take Gaethje’s head off. He came pretty close a couple times, and ultimately it was a fight that could have went either way.

Johnson did his best to fight smart at times, but Gaethje makes it incredibly difficult to avoid the brawl.

Johnson may have lost four of his last five, but he continues to show his talent either way. Lightweight is an absolute shark tank, and Johnson’s mixed results just goes to show how good the elite of that division are.

Poll

Last night, Justin Gaethje overwhelmed his foe for a second round knockout win. Who do you want to see Gaethje fight next?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Conor McGregor
    (41 votes)
  • 42%
    Tony Ferguson
    (93 votes)
  • 23%
    Edson Barboza
    (52 votes)
  • 15%
    Khabib Nurmagomedov
    (33 votes)
219 votes total Vote Now

For complete TUF 25 Finale: “Johnson vs Gaethje” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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