Demetrious Johnson took on John Moraga last night on UFC on Fox 8. Both fighters were looking to prove they were the best flyweight in the world, and certainly put on an entertaining fight for five rounds. Johnson proved in every round that he was the superior fighter both standing and on the ground. In each round, Johnson was able to change levels and take Moraga down seemingly at will.
Moraga battled back, however, and landed some good shots of his own, particularly in the fourth round. In the fifth, Johnson was able to lock up an impressive armbar, forcing Moraga to tap out. It was an impressive showing for Johnson, who finally got his first UFC finish. He is now 18-2-1 in his fighting career and has defended his belt twice.
Johnson has always received flack for never finishing his fights, but this bout was certainly an exception. Despite being up all four rounds, Johnson kept pressing and found the finish, which is commendable for the champion and is the type of effort that the fans want to see from any fighter. It’s quite impressive to see Johnson fight as he is improving with each bout as one of the most technical fighters in the UFC.
For Moraga, he showed tremendous heart in each round, despite being outmatched by a faster, more experienced fighter in Johnson. He will need to get some more experience under his belt, but he certainly has the talent to be a formidable opponent for anyone in the flyweight division.
Johnson is on to bigger and better things in his career. The flyweight division is still in its infant state, but fresh title challengers should emerge soon. Johnson still has some great competition in Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson, both of whom are dynamic in their own right.
If he can dispatch these fighters once again, he may very well move back up to the bantamweight division, where he could possible challenge Dominick Cruz or Renan Barao. Wherever Johnson goes from here, it’s clear that he is still developing as an MMA fighter, which is a scary thing for his competition.