UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi - "Mighty Mouse" gets the tapout at the very last second, "Rampage" Jackson returns victoriously
The only UFC Flyweight in history Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (22-2-1) defended his title belt for the 6th time as he handed Kyoji Horiguchi (15-2) his first UFC loss with a very last second finish. There were a lot of quick movements as soon as the opening bell rang, as we should expect from a division such as flyweight, both fighters exploding in and out at each other with single strikes. Johnson decided that he had enough of this and shot for a double leg instead, ended up pressing Horiguchi onto the cage and failing to wrestle him down.
Johnson continued to play the wrestling and dirty boxing game but ironically, he got taken down instead in the second round. Horiguchi burst forward aggressively with punches and landed a knee to Johnson's head followed by a leg trip from a tangled position. But Horiguchi couldn't do much on the ground but he managed to connect with two good punches when they're back on their feet. But then here and out, the champ completely dominated with his usual technical game. He got the takedowns he wanted, managed to get his opponent in crucifix positions, controlled the clinches, and bloodied Horiguchi's nose as well with his strikes on standup. Without any answer to Johnson's relentless pressure, Horiguchi was forced to play the escape artist role, which he did well enough until the final seconds.
Commentator Joe Rogan highlighted the difference of both corners. Horiguchi's coaches were giving him motivational talks but on Johnson's side, Matt Hume gave his fighters clear technical instructions as always. As Johnson mentioned during the post-fight interview as well, it was Hume who called for the armbar at the very last seconds of the fifth and final round. Johnson said he did it 'cause he didn't want to get yelled at later. The "Mighty Mouse" transitioned from a mounted crucifix position, which Horiguchi couldn't escape anyway and was eating a lot of pounding, to the full mount and quickly to the painful-looking armbar which forced Horiguchi to tap out. The referee stopped the fight at 4:59 of Round 5 (just a second or less away from the final bell), making it the latest finish ever in the UFC, if not in MMA history. Absolutely beautiful to watch.
It was the long awaited return of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (36-11), the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion who hasn't fought since his last Bellator fight in May last year. He faced Brazilian Fabio Maldonano (22-8) in a catchweight bout at 215 lbs and has convincingly defeated him. Jackson was dominant in the first round on standup with some impressive boxing and Muay Thai kicks. Maldonado looked very nervy, backing away to the fences whenever Jackson came forward with his uppercut combos. When facing Jackson toe-to-toe, Maldonado could only muscle courage to attempt punches on Jackson's stomach.
Knowing that he lost the first round, Maldonado began pushing forward and doing some dirty boxing and boring clinching on the fences. The crowd began booing. Jackson was so exhausted he practically gave Maldonado a takedown in the final seconds of Round 2. In the final round, Jackson seemed to have found some extra stamina some where, being very active, a lot of head movement and boxing combos. Maldonado just wasn't prepared for the Rampage, but he did land a good knee before the final minute of the bout. This easy unanimous decision victory puts Jackson back onto the winners bracket of the UFC, which he hasn't been on since 2011.
UFC 186 - Results(Source: Wikipedia)
Fight of the Night: Chad Laprise vs. Bryan Barberena
Performance of the Night: Demetrious Johnson and Thomas Almeida
Main CardFlyweight Title: Demetrious Johnson (c) def. Kyoji Horiguchi | Submission (armbar) | R5 4:59 Catchweight (215 lbs): Quinton Jackson def. Fábio Maldonado | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Middleweight: Michael Bisping def. C.B. Dollaway | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Catchweight (160 lbs): John Makdessi def. Shane Campbell | TKO (punches) | R1 4:53
Bantamweight: Thomas Almeida def. Yves Jabouin | TKO (punches) | R1 4:18
Preliminary CardWelterweight: Patrick Côté def. Joe Riggs | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Women's Bantamweight: Alexis Davis def. Sarah Kaufman | Submission (armbar) | R2 1:52
Lightweight: Chad Laprise def. Bryan Barberena | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Lightweight: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. David Michaud | Submission (RNC) | R3 3:24
Welterweight: Nordine Taleb def. Chris Clements | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Women's Strawweight: Valérie Létourneau def. Jessica Rakoczy | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Women's Strawweight: Randa Markos def. Aisling Daly | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
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