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Demetrious Johnson explains how he pulled off legendary submission against Ray Borg at UFC 216

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There hasn’t been this kind of finish in the fifth round of a title fight since the “Showtime Kick.”

On Saturday night, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson hoisted Ray Borg in the air in a modified belly-to-back suplex and somehow landed in a fight-winning armbar submission. When Borg tapped at UFC 216 in Las Vegas, Johnson cinched the record for most title defenses (11) in UFC history. And boy did he do it with aplomb.

The suplex-into-armbar combination was historic — most people have not seen anything like it in MMA. Johnson, though, said it’s something he practices in training. No one has ever witnessed it for a reason.

“I don’t show any of my training,” Johnson said. “I just don’t do it. It’s none of you guys’ business what I’m doing in the gym.”

The finishing sequence started with Johnson’s arms wrapped around Borg from behind near the cage. “Mighty Mouse,” who is regarded as perhaps the best MMA fighter of all time, explained it like it were simple — just some shifting of body mass here and there.

“I kneed him and then I shook his weight, I shifted his weight,” Johnson said. “And when he shifted, he went back and threw an elbow and was like, ‘Got you.’ And then that’s when I threw him up and then landed in the armbar. Yeah. F*ck yeah.”

As if it were all that easy. Johnson dominated the fight to that point, winning every round. Some, especially the first, could have been argued as10-8 scores. Johnson said he wanted to own the contest in the aspect in which Borg is best: scrambling.

“He’s a very tough, very tough dude,” Johnson said. “His game is scrambling — that’s what he likes to do. He was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna out scramble DJ, I’m gonna get on top of him.’ And even when he took me down, I was like, ‘K, you took me down. Are you gonna pass guard?’ No. I elevated him and got back up. I was like, OK, you took me down. That was the best opportunity you had.

“I look at my opponent and see what they’re good it and then I try to take it away from them and then I look for the submission or the finish.”

Borg’s chances were few and far between. But the JacksonWink MMA product fought hard to the final second. Even when he was in the armbar, Borg was close to escaping. But Johnson wouldn’t have any of it. He was going to set the UFC record an do it with one of the coolest finishes in history.

“Right now, my left butt cheek is just shot,” Johnson said. “Literally shot. I was squeezing. I remember I threw him up. I grunted, threw him up and slammed him and I remember shimmying down a little bit and squeezing. He was doing a good job of moving his arm back and forth. I was trying to get the elbow in place. I squeezed and he kept on going. I was like, ‘Oh my god, he’s not gonna give up.’ And I had to re-situate the arm, the elbow again on the right spot.”


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