Huge UFC Upset: Cejudo Ends Johnson’s Record Setting Unbeaten Streak
On Saturday, August 4th, the fight sports world witnessed a major upset in the sport of MMA as the huge underdog Henry Cejudo defeated Demetrious Johnson via Split Decision for the UFC flyweight title. This was Johnson’s first loss since October 1, 2011, and it snapped his streak of 11 straight title victories in a row. Which, by the way, is the UFC record for most successful title defenses.
The flyweight championship fight at UFC 227 was a rematch from their first encounter at UFC 197 when Johnson won via TKO in the first round. Coming into this 2nd bout between the two fighters, Demetrious Johnson (27-3-1) was a huge favorite at -480 and Henry Cejudo was a massive underdog at +380. Despite the huge disparity in odds, and already suffering a loss to Johnson, Cejudo came out and executed a brilliant fight plan.
The fight didn’t start off well for Cejudo as it looked like he injured his left leg in a non-contact movement. By the second round, Cejudo was able to shake off the minor setback and continue his effective approach with Johnson, which included 14 attempts at takedowns. Henry was able to convert 5 of those attempts, which played a role in his Split Decision victory. The 4th round is where Cejudo was able to keep Johnson on his back for a significant amount of time. As the fight continued, Cejudo gained more confidence and the crowd could feel that an upset was brewing.
Johnson was able to defend most of the takedown attempts and quickly get back to his feet on the few that Cejudo succeeded on. Despite his defense and out-striking Cejudo 110-71, Johnson lost via Split Decision with the scores being: 48-47, 48-47 for Cejudo and 48-47 for Johnson. All 3 of Johnson’s losses for his career came via decisions.
After the fight, Cejudo made the following gracious comments according to ESPN:
“This is a dream come true, from Olympic gold medalist to UFC champion. I was born right here in Los Angeles in a two-bedroom apartment. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you to these fans in California for their support.’’
Henry Cejudo would continue discussing how his first loss to Johnson motivated him to become a better fighter:
“I hate second place with a passion. And losing to Demetrious Johnson the first time, in a devastating fashion, not only motivated me but put a chip on a shoulder.”
Unfortunately, Cejudo would go on to lose his very next fight, after the first Johnson loss, to Joseph Benavidez. From there, Cejudo went on to defeat Wilson Reis and Sergio Pettis. Some pundits and fans were questioning the UFC’s decision for this rematch as they thought there were other flyweight fighters who deserved this title shot more than Cejudo. Clearly, he proved all of those naysayers wrong.
What’s Next for Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo?
In his post-fight jubilee, the former Olympic gold medalist called out bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw who was fighting in his own rematch following the Cejudo vs Johnson fight. TJ won the grudge match over his former teammate via TKO in the 1st round. In his post-fight comments, Dillashaw stated that he would fight Cejudo and told him to “bring it on.” Previously, the UFC had been trying to get Johnson and Dillashaw in the octagon against each other for a super fight. Unfortunately, it never materialized. However, the UFC might get a slightly less exciting, albeit very intriguing, fight between Cejudo and Dillashaw for both UFC titles.
What’s Next for Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson?
Despite Johnson disagreeing with the judge’s scoring in regards to the stand-up portion of the fight, in particular all of the kicks that DJ landed, the former champ handled the loss with professionalism. He also informed the media and the fans that he suffered injuries to his knee and his foot. Demetrious will undergo MRIs on Monday to see if he tore a knee ligament and if his foot is broken. According to MMAJunkie.com, Johnson made the following comments about his injuries:
“I remember we were scrambling, and I maybe shot, and then he kind of pushed me over, and I rolled over my right knee, and I felt the pop, and I was like, ‘There goes the right LCL – fantastic. And the foot was just from kicking and kicking and kicking.”
Johnson wants a rematch with Cejudo, but recognizes that he needs to make sure his health is 100% first:
“First thing’s first. I’m not going to be like, ‘Ah, I want a rematch.’ I need to get healthy first. My health is No. 1, and I’m not going to sign a contract if I can’t get through eight weeks of training camp.”
If Johnson takes time off for injuries, Cejudo and Dillashaw could make the two-title fight happen during DJ’s absence. Then, Mighty Mouse can come back and take on the winner of that fight. You’re welcome Dana White, I’ve just booked your next 2 big fights for the flyweight and bantamweight divisions.
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