Even though Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson was on the brink of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history — the opportunity to break Anderson Silva’s consecutive title defense record (10) — “Mighty Mouse” was dropped in the co-main event slot against Ray Borg tonight (Sat., Oct. 7, 2017) at UFC 216, which took place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
No respect? No problem! Johnson secured a record-setting eleventh consecutive title defense, taking out the No. 3-ranked fighter in his division with perhaps one of the greatest armbar finishes … ever.
Johnson got the action started with a barrage of inside leg kicks as Borg tried to get a read on the elusive champion. Borg gave chase, looking to connect with an uppercut, but Johnson was just nowhere to be found. Johnson uncorked a solid body kick that Borg tried to turn into a takedown. He clutched onto his leg, but Johnson defended brilliantly and eventually spun to take his back. Johnson pinned Borg to the bottom of the cage and began to drop short, hard elbows. Borg scrambled as Johnson played possum, angling for a submission that never materialized.
Both fighters came out bouncing to start the second stanza and Borg immediately closed the distance, pushing Johnson into the fence and looking to sink in a standing guillotine choke. It wasn’t happening, and when Johnson spun out, Borg secured a takedown. It was short-lived, though, as Johnson got back to his feet quickly and was able to reverse a Borg rear-naked choke. Johnson eventually got him into a crucifix position as Borg bucked to avoid the vulnerable position. After a brief scramble, Johnson ended up in side control then once again took his back as Borg scrambled. Johnson once again finished in a dominant position and calmly headed back to his corner as if he wasn’t just in a frenetic 10-minute fight.
Borg once again looked to keep Johnson close to start the third round, but once again Johnson used his takedown attempt against him. Johnson was already in side control one minute into the round, dropping elbows and angling for submissions. He started to nail Borg with short knees to the rib cage and elbows to the face, tenderizing him with an assortment of creative shots. Borg scrambled to escaped the punishment and, in doing so, ended up in full mount. He quickly scrambled and allowed Johnson to take his back. Borg continued to move and was able to spin out, but Johnson was on him like white on rice, ripping body shots as the round came to a close.
Borg came out swinging to start the championship rounds, culminating with a nice slam. Unfortunately for him, Johnson was back on his feet and then on top of Borg on the ground in a flash, drilling him with a heavy dose of elbows. Borg was eventually able to get to his feet, but shortly thereafter, Johnson dumped him hard back to the canvas. He did it again moments later and angled for yet another kimura, then armbar, as the fourth round came to a close.
Borg needed a miracle entering the fifth and final frame to pull off the upset, but Johnson just wouldn’t give him an inch. It was more of the same — elbows, kicks, takedowns, reversals — as Johnson continued to wear down Borg. And just when it seemed that “Mighty Mouse” was going to coast to a historic unanimous decision win, he picked up Borg — and in the process of slamming him to the canvas — he trapped his arm on the way down and was somehow able to secure an armbar. Borg did everything possible to try and get out, but Johnson cranked every which way until he had no choice but to tap rather than snap. It was one of the best armbars ever from one of the best UFC fighter ever.
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