Fighter of the Month: September 2012 – Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson
By Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester
Fighter of the Month: Demetrious Johnson
Event: UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort – September 22, 2012
Opponent: Joseph Benavidez
Result: Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)
Why He Deserves It?
Way before the Flyweight division was announced, two names were always called out as potential Flyweight champions if the division ever opened up. Those two fighters were Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. Back when they fought in the Bantamweight division, the two were on a tear; beating much taller and bigger fighters. Their biggest faults were that they were simply two small for the division.
So when the Flyweight tournament was announced, and their names were placed in the mix – nearly everyone expected that these two would face each other in the tournament finale. It almost did not happen though as a botched tally of points at UFC on FX 2 in March of this year delayed the tournament for a few months as Johnson had to have a rematch with fellow Flyweight Ian McCall at a later date. Johnson would win the rematch and Benavidez officially had an opponent for the first-ever UFC Flyweight Championship.
Demetrious Johnson came into the fight just like he usually does… quick and light on his feet. One of the most frustrating things about fighting Johnson has to be his athleticism and his speed. It often showed in certain portions of the fight in that Joseph Benavidez was getting a bit irritated at his lack of success in his landing power punches.
Benavidez hoped to bring power into the Flyweight division. While in all likelihood he will in later fights, he could not against the superiorly fast Demetrious Johnson. He simply could not find his opponent. He did catch Johnson in the fourth round with a right hand that helped him set up a mounted guillotine choke. However, Johnson escaped. Closing off the 25-minute affair, Johnson scored a couple of takedowns in the last round and finished the round with speed and strikes to cement his victory.
Although the fight was scored as a split decision, Johnson and many others believed he won the fight unanimously. In any case, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson became the first-ever UFC Flyweight Champion. For his stirring performance and championship winning effort, PunchDrunkGamer is pleased to announce Demetrious Johnson as our Fighter of the Month for September. Good luck champ in your future endeavors!
1. Jon Jones (UFC 152, September 22) – Every fight for Jon Jones since he became champion contained the “guy” who supposedly could beat Jon Jones. Except hardly anyone said that Vitor Belfort could beat Jones, let alone stand a chance. The first round proved that you cannot write off anyone in mixed martial arts. For just a couple of seconds, everyone held their breath as Belfort locked in a tight armbar that seemed like it would be the submission that dethroned the champ. It was not meant to be, however, and Jon Jones would come back in the next three rounds to prove why he is the champion. In the fourth round, “Bones” Jones capitalized on an Americana that forced Belfort to tap out. While he may have suffered an injury from the armbar, Jones showed a true warrior’s spirit in his comeback victory.
2. T. J. Grant (UFC 152, September 22) – T. J. Grant and Evan Dunham perhaps put on one of the better fights of this year. They never allowed each other a break. However, it was T. J. Grant that scored the first significant strike. In the first round, Grant drove his knee into Dunham’s face, cutting open the Lightweight prospect. While the fight would later become much closer in the later rounds, T. J. Grant never backed down and kept the fight entertaining throughout the three-round bout. The two earned Fight of the Night honors for their performance.
3. Cub Swanson (UFC 152, September 22) – Swanson keeps making this list because he goes out and proves that not all of Greg Jackson’s fighters are point fighters. The slights against his coach are unwarranted. This guy brings it, regardless of who his opponent is and he did just that against Charles Oliveira. In a solid paced opening of the first round, Swanson and Oliveira exchanged on the feet. But it was Swanson’s right hand to Oliveira’s dome that turned out the lights. Literally. His reaction was delayed but Oliveira didn’t know he was unconscious on his feet until seconds later. Swanson painted a beautiful picture in our minds with a knockout that was both captivating and odd to watch. For that he deserves this spot on PDG’s September Fighter of the Month.
4. Stefan Struve (UFC on Fuel 5, September 29) – For some reason people have written off Stefan Struve in the heavyweight division. Why? Who knows? It is without a doubt that Stipe Miocic is asking himself the same question. This was supposed to be the fight that would turn Stipe Miocic into a breakout star in the heavyweight division. However, he hit a roadblock nicknamed “The Skyscraper”. While Miocic had his moments where he could have finished the fight, it was Struve who turned it around in the second round and blasted his opponent with powerful strikes. No one can deny Miocic’s will, but Struve got the victory when the referee had seen enough. Struve has proven that his own strength is not to be underestimated.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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