Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson faced the biggest threat to his crown in the UFC 197 co-main event on Saturday when he took on 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in freestyle wrestling Henry Cejudo.
Cejudo entered the fight unbeaten (10-0), but left with the first loss of his mixed martial arts career.
Cejudo pressured the champion, but was unable to mount an effective offense. The two clinched early in the round and Cejudo secured a takedown. Johnson quickly pushed off the challenger, elevating him in the air.
The moment Johnson got back to his feet, things started to go south for Cejudo. Johnson clinched and delivered knees to the body and head. As they separated, Cejudo was off balance and staggered across the cage. Johnson pursued him and finished with a series of strikes that crumbled Cejudo to the canvas.
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Johnson doesn’t come into fights with a game plan. He lets the fight play out and exploits the openings when they present themselves.
“There’s no game plan. I come in here and I just fight. My clinch is very dangerous,” said the flyweight champion after the title defense.
“Once I got him off balance and threw the left knee to the liver, I heard him groan and I go, it’s over. I’m not (expletive) backing up. It’s on. Let’s go,” he said.
Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones sits in the top pound-for-pound spot, but following the win Johnson proclaimed that he’s the true top fighter in the world.
“I am the best pound-for-pound fighter in the word, and I’ll continue to keep on pulling it,” he said.
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