Shelbyville Daily Union

July 30, 2013

King of the flyweights retains crown

Micah Curtis For the Daily Union
Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — Demetrious Johnson remained King of the Flyweights in MMA after defeating John Moraga by a 5th round submission on Saturday.

Though a relatively new division to the UFC, the Flyweight division has already seen a very dominant champion come forward in its ranks. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson lives up to his nickname, being small in stature, but incredibly athletic.

Prior to winning the belt against Joseph Benavidez in the inaugural bout, Johnson had already been a title challenger at the 135 pound weight class, losing to champion Dominic Cruz in a valiant effort in October of 2011. His speed and his grappling skills have been his greatest asset, on top of having the wonderful mind of MMA legend Matt “The Wizard” Hume in his corner.

The title challenger, John Moraga, came into the UFC like a tornado through Kansas. In his first bout for the UFC, he stormed straight through Ulysses Gomez another debuting fighter. He stopped his opponent with elbows and punches. In his second outing against Chris Cariaso, he found himself gaining Submission of the Night honors from the promotion, and he choked out his opponent with a guillotine hold.

The young man from Arizona State has a lot of potential and claimed the wrestling skills and speed to try to stifle Johnson’s strengths. The question before the bout was if the young man could also deal with the strategy of Johnson’s corner.

The 1st round on Saturday started off fairly evenly for the two young men. Moraga and Johnson traded leg kicks, but Moraga was unable to connect with many punches.

, due to Johnson’s incredible speed. When Moraga attempted to use the clinch game against Johnson, he found himself reversed and then promptly planted on his back.

The 2nd round saw Johnson take his opponent down 30 seconds into the round, then went for a kimura after defending a triangle attempt from Moraga. He continued to wear the former Sun Devil down.

The 3rd round began as more of the same. Johnson took Moraga to the ground and continuing to attempt for submissions, but Moraga gamely fought onward. Moraga would attempt a clinch take down, but would once again be reversed and end on his back.

Moraga did end up getting at take down late in the third, but went nowhere with it. In the 4th, it seemed to be the same for the challenger. until he hit a perfectly timed counter right cross. He pursued the champion, but again, was taken down and the damage he inflicted was all for naught.

The 5th round spelled doom for Moraga. After Johnson landed his tenth take down in the fight, he controlled and beat on Moraga until there was just two minutes left in the round. On an attempted arm bar, Moraga was caught in Johnson’s grip. He submitted to the hold and Johnson successfully retained his championship in a dominant outing.

Though the future is not clear for Johnson,what is known is that any future challengers are going to be facing an incredibly dominant young champion that shows no signs of slowing down.