Giving fans five signature fast-paced rounds and a finish, Washingtonian Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson kept the flyweight belt in Seattle in that city’s UFC on FOX main event inside KeyArena.
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga
Johnson put on the most dominant performance of his championship career, earning his first UFC finish with a fifth-round armbar over the larger John Moraga.
The fight started with Moraga moving forward and landing some big kicks, but Johnson started to get in with his speed. After getting tagged with a big counter right, Moraga pushed things to the fence, where Johnson changed levels and got a takedown. Moraga’s defensive guillotine wasn’t tight enough and Johnson landed in side control, where he threw elbows aplenty. When Moraga tried to stand, Johnson backed off just long enough to lock in a front headlock and stand with the guillotine; the deep submission was only interrupted by the bell.
Moraga again came forward in the second, giving Johnson an easy takedown in the center of the mat, where he proceeded to put on a groundwork clinic. He stood to pass the guard, punched Moraga from crucifix, did more damage with his elbows and attempted armbars and chokes. He did the same once things were back on the feet, taking down Moraga twice more during the round.
“Chicano John” stayed lower and threw heavy leather in the third, but the Mouse easily evaded the punches, then grabbed hold and cartwheeled his way into a takedown. Moraga turtled to escape a keylock attempt, giving up his back, which Johnson took briefly before they stood again. Again: Moraga tied up on the cage, Johnson threw to the mat and went for the arm, this time cranking the far arm backward and trapping Moraga’s head with one leg. Moraga escaped by using his size to roll over with it and stand, then fired back with his own takedown.
Both men looked crisp in the fourth, which isn’t always how things play out with Johnson’s opponents. Unfortunately for Moraga, a crisp Johnson still takes down a crisp Moraga with ease. Back on the feet, Johnson made Moraga rethink his lunging striking attacks by landing some kicks to his body, with one to the head for punctuation. Then Johnson turned it up with a pair of knees before his next two takedowns. In the final minute, Moraga stumbled Mighty Mouse with a big right hand and gave chase, but Johnson answered with an almost reflexive takedown.
Johnson stayed low with his hands down in the final frame, giving the crowd a little drama before taking Moraga down twice in rapid succession. Again Johnson passed by simply posturing up from guard, moving Moraga’s legs and falling into side control, from which Moraga turtled. Johnson put in one more takedown-side control-elbows-step-over-armbar sequence, and this kimura was deep enough to draw a tap at 3:43. Johnson followed with four high-altitude 360-degree kicks and, despite a bloody nose, seemed perfectly ready to take on his next opponent right away.
Johnson’s victory is the latest submission stoppage in UFC history and boosts his record to 18-2-1 – he is undefeated as a UFC flyweight. Moraga’s loss is only his second (the other coming at the hands of Johnson’s last title challenger, John Dodson), with 13 wins.
Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger
A promising welterweight contender bout turned into a 15-minute faceoff as Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger and Rory “Ares” MacDonald both angled to avoid one another’s power. MacDonald earned the unanimous decision win in a controlling performance that may inch him closer to a title shot but likely did him no service in the fan favorite department.
Most of the action in the first few minutes took place in the crowd, who alternated between chants of “U-S-A” and “Ro-ry” while yelling advice to the fighters and then, as the minutes wore on, booing. The fighters, if you were wondering, circled one another during this time, threw testing jabs and kicks here and there, MacDonald in a low stance that he stuttered regularly to keep Ellenberger at distance. Ellenberger connected first with some lefts and closed the distance quickly, while MacDonald used his length to establish jabs and land some kicks. With ten seconds left and the fans back to booing, Ellenberger charged, but both fighters were neutralized by the clinch and the bell sounded.
The Canadian put his jab to work in the second, following it with right hands and kicks that kept Ellenberger moving backward, ever unsure from where the next strike would originate. A frustrated Ellenberger shot for a takedown and though MacDonald defended, Ellenberger got in a good shot on the break. MacDonald went for his own takedown off an Ellenberger knee, but Ellenberger also pushed free. A high head kick from MacDonald was followed by another on the other side to the body, and Ellenberger shuffled forward recklessly in the hopes of an exchange. He charged again with a right hand/uppercut, but was unable to connect as MacDonald made space and the crowd roared its displeasure.
Ellenberger tried to mix up his offense in the third, trying spinning fists, throat punches and more angles, but MacDonald’s jab stopped nearly everything that came near it. MacDonald seemed to gain confidence and popped off some dramatic high kicks, but he still played it safe. Ares slipped while throwing a kick and Ellenberger landed a clean left as he stood to right himself, but that was the only action the mat saw for the first 14 minutes. That’s when Ellenberger landed a takedown. MacDonald postured in butterfly guard and MacDonald went for a sweep and a kimura, but the bell again rang as the crowd continued to boo.
Scores for MacDonald were 30-27 twice and 29-28, as he rises to 15-1, with his only career loss coming at the hands of fellow contender Carlos Condit. “I obviously look to finish fights, but he’s a good fighter, so what can you do?" said MacDonald after. "I think I had him worried with the elbows because he didn’t want to come near me after that." Ellenberger slips to 29-7.
Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voelker
In a matchup made for striking fans, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler continued his recent surge of finishes, knocking out late replacement “Vicious” Bobby Voelker in the second. With 38 combined career knockouts between them going into the welterweight bout, the game plan for both men was fairly obvious, and it didn't take long to move that number to 39.
Lawler answered a leg kick from Voelker with a big body kick and a fast takedown. After landing some lefts from half-guard, he let Voelker stand, kneeing him on the way up. Lawler tied up his foe on the fence and issued more knees, then stunned him with an uppercut on the break. Voelker’s nose was bloodied and as he pawed at it, he opened the door for southpaw Lawler to tag his foe with his infamous left. Lawler stayed fast on his feet and mixed up his attacks, followed a head kick with a flying knee as Voelker struggled to find an answer to the onslaught. As the time ticked down, Lawler poured it on with a flying knee, body kick and more shots.
When the horn sounded for the second, Voelker swang like a man with nothing to lose, but Lawler was unfazed. Instead he nailed a high kick that crumpled Voelker, then followed with two shots that ended the show and stood in his opponent’s corner with arms outstretched to the crowd, like a gymnast who’d landed a perfect dismount.
"I’m excited -- they really woke me up at American Top Team," said Lawler, who is 2-0 in his return to the UFC since his Strikeforce stint. "I’m healthy so I want to get back in there and train." The knockout came just 24 seconds into the second round, earning Lawler the 21st win (with 9 losses and 1 NC) and 18th knockout of his career. Kansas City’s game Voelker – who took on Patrick Cote in his Octagon debut – slides to 24-10.
See Robbie Lawler's results.
Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade
The first woman to step into the UFC Octagon as a fighter, Liz “Girl-rilla” Carmouche rebounded from her failed title attempt with a second-round stoppage of the undersized and outclassed Jessica Andrade on the FOX broadcast opener.
Carmouche followed a couple of kicks by taking Andrade down and controlling her from the top. Andrade stood but the Muay Thai specialist was still pinned to the fence by her larger opponent until being taken right back down. This time Carmouche landed in side control and threw punches as Andrade tried to frame with her elbows to defend. After standing again, Andrade got a takedown of her own, and when Carmouche reversed, she found herself in a guillotine. She tried to slam her way out and knee Andrade’s butt, but eventually it was time that freed her as the bell sounded.
Another big takedown from Carmouche started the second round. Carmouche threw elbows from side control, hopped into mount and threw nonstop fists as Andrade bridged to try and make space. Unsuccessful, Andrade rolled, only to be flattened and rear-naked choked by Carmouche. She again twisted to escape, but Carmouche stayed in mount as the Brazilian moved back and forth between her back and stomach. Dozens of elbows from the top later, referee Herb Dean had finally seen enough, waving things off at 3:57 of the round.
Carmouche’s win brings her to 8-3 in her groundbreaking career; just 21 years old and now a UFC veteran, Andrade slips to 9-3.
See Liz Carmouche's results.
Flyweights Finish Fights: UFC on FOX Main Card Results
Read on results for the main card of UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga.