During Demetrious Johnson’s win over Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 it became apparent Johnson had a speed advantage over his adversary. In fact, even commentator Joe Rogan mentioned the story of the fight was the speed of Johnson, a notion “Mighty Mouse was quick to agree with as well when asked about the co-headlining clash.
“When Joseph starts to duck his head a little bit at me, I can tell that he’s about to throw that overhand right. There were a couple of times where I actually stayed in the pocket, and I blocked it just by raising my hand up because it’s such a wild punch,” Johnson told Sherdog. “It’s not coming straight down the pipe, so you can get away with having your arms wide out. It worked out to my advantage. You could see them coming because Joseph likes to bury his feet and duck his head when he throws.”
Johnson continued by saying the Benavidez fight went exactly the way he thought it would, explaining, “Joseph Benavidez is a tough competitor. He likes to throw those big haymakers, and when I watched the fight, I thought I did a great job making him miss a whole lot. I wish I could have stayed in the pocket a little more to make him pay for missing. He missed a lot of shots and he got away with just missing.”
The Split Decision win over Benavidez resulted in the 26-year old becoming the UFC’s first flyweight champion. Despite the closeness of the scorecards, one of the few times Johnson was really in trouble came in the fourth round when Benavidez mounted him with a Guillotine Choke sunk in. Still, Johnson said he never panicked and felt comfortable the entire time.
“It was nowhere near close,” revealed Johnson. “The choke was a good application around my neck, but other than that, I was nowhere near close to going out. We trained that a lot at AMC. I mean, for 10 weeks straight. There’s been a couple of times during training camp where I almost bit through my lip because guys were trying to crank on it.”
Johnson concluded by saying he was unsure how the judges were going to score it before Bruce Buffer announced the results, but he personally felt like he’d won the fight. Upon second review he still feels the same way.
“When you look at mixed martial arts, you look at every aspect of the game. I felt that I won every aspect. The stand-up, I felt that I had the cleaner strikes, the better counterattacks. Takedown defense, I think I defended the majority of his takedowns. He dropped me once, but I recovered. I defended all of his submission attempts. I took him down multiple times, had a couple of good slams in there,” said the proud member of UFC history. “When you look on paper, I felt that I won that fight. It looks like the judges got it right.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC