Micah Curtis For the Daily Union
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Demetrius Johnson held on to his flyweight crown this past Saturday with a quick defeat of Joseph Benavidez.
The bout between the champ, Johnson, and the challenger, Benavidez, began as many other flyweight bouts do, but there wasn't a single soul in the house prepared for how it was going to end.
Each fighter came in with their usual game of quick movement, typical of the 125 lb weight class. Benavidez seemed to be head-hunting against Johnson, trying to land the big KO shot and finish the fight with the champion quickly. Johnson had other ideas.
Johnson kept his movement fluid. "Mighty Mouse" utilized his incredible movement skills with quick ins and outs, fake double-leg shots, and stance changes to keep himself elusive from the powerful Benavidez. His movement paid off well, as every potential knockout blow from Benavidez either missed, was blocked, or did not hit cleanly.
It was not long after the two minute mark that Johnson hit a massive counter straight right hand to his opponent, knocking Benavidez unconscious on impact. Though Johnson landed a couple shots on the ground after his opponent fell, it was already over.
With one blow, Johnson solidified himself as the kingpin of the 125 pound division, and chipped away any idea that he may have any potential challengers on his level. Eight of the top ten flyweights that are in the UFC have either lost to Johnson or lost to someone he has defeated. One thing about the division is certain: both its champion and all his potential challengers will be putting on exciting fights for the near future.
In other parts of the MMA world, Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre relinquished his UFC championship that he had held since 2008. Citing personal issues, St-Pierre will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the sport, possibly closing out a Hall of Fame career. The belt will now be on the line in a bout between Robby Lawler and Johny Hendricks. Hendricks recently is coming off a loss to St-Pierre, dropping a split decision to the champion in a very close fight. Lawler defeated highly touted Rory MacDonald on the same card, beating the young fighter down in a decision win. The two will meet at UFC 171.