Update: UFC president Dana White announced at the post-event press conference that the McCall-Johnson decision was read incorrectly. The decision was supposed to be a draw, and the fight should've gone to a 'sudden-death' fourth round. White says the UFC will try to set up a rematch in April.
Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez took very different paths to the final, with Johnson winning a tight decision and Benavidez getting a second-round knockout at UFC on FX 2 in Australia. Those wins set them up to face off for the first ever UFC flyweight (125-lb.) championship.
Johnson survives to win split decision
Despite a terrible third round, Demetrious Johnson won the UFC's first flyweight fight in a majority decision. 29-28, 29-28, 29-29. Though the crowd in Australia yelled their displeasure, Ian McCall's strong third round was not enough for the win. The fight was originally announced as a split decision in Johnson's favor, but MMA Junkie showed score cards from on-site that showed one judge scored the first round as a 10-10 draw.
Johnson started with fast kicks followed by sticking and moving. McCall got a takedown on an inside trip, but Johnson managed a reversal and brought the fight back to the feet. McCall took advantage of a leg kick, using it to take Johnson to his back. When McCall stopped takedowns, Johnson still would make him pay on the way out with a punch or two.
The second round featured continued furious action, with the fighters standing in front of each other early in the round and trading blows. Johnson peppered McCall's legs with kicks, while McCall landed powerful shots when he could get his hands on Johnson.
Early in the third round, McCall bent over when he was inadvertently kicked in the crotch, but referee Leon Roberts did not stop the fight. Johnson took advantage and landed several punches before McCall responded.
Johnson tried a flying knee, but McCall just used it to take Johnson to the ground and land several elbows. They returned to their feet, but then McCall got another takedown. He took Johnson's back, stretched him out, and landed a bevy of strikes. Somehow, Johnson kept the fight alive and got back to his feet. With less than a minute left, Johnson tried for a takedown, but after a scramble, McCall ended up on top and then in full guard. He laid into Johnson's face with strike after strike, yelling to the crowd as he punched in the final seconds of the fight.
Benavidez earns final berth with TKO
Benavidez didn't leave it in the hands of the judges, knocking out Yasuhiro Urushitani in the second round.
Urushitani showed strong takedown defense early in the first round, but Benavidez was able to get him down late in the round. He took his back, controlling him with body triangle and a rear naked choke. However, it was too late in the round to end the fight. Urushitani survived.
Benavidez wasted no time in the second round. He knocked Urushitani down with a short right hook and finished him with ground and pound. The fight was stopped 11 seconds into the second round.
- Joseph Benavidez