Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
UPDATE: The Johnson-McCall fight has been ruled a draw, as the Australian commission admitted it made a mistake in tabulating the scorecards.
Two judges scored it 29-28 for Johnson, while one scored it 29-28 for McCall. It's disappointing that the questionable decision may overshadow the fact that the 125-pounders put on a very good show and demonstrated why so many of us have wanted the UFC to launch a flyweight class for so long: This is a weight class with some tremendous athletes.
"I have to give it up to Ian McCall," Johnson said. "I felt I won the first two rounds. In the last round he put it on me."
Johnson was moving in and out and doing a nice job in the striking exchanges in the early going, but McCall surprised Johnson by taking him down and getting on top of him on the ground. Johnson got back to his feet without any trouble, however, and landed more punches. They then repeated it with McCall getting another takedown and Johnson again getting back to his feet. Late in the first round Johnson landed some big punches, and he may have done enough to win a very entertaining first round.
Early in the second round there was an exchange of punches, with McCall landing harder and forcing Johnson to back away. Almost the entire round was fought standing up, and Johnson landed more strikes -- including some impressive leg kicks -- but McCall's punches appeared to have more power on them, and that may have been enough for him to win the round. Two judges, however, apparently gave both the first and the second to Johnson.
An odd exchange took place at the start of the third round, as McCall appeared to feel as though he had been hit by a low blow and paused as if the referee would step in -- but Johnson didn't stop, and the referee didn't make them stop. However, McCall recovered nicely and controlled most of the rest of the third round: McCall took Johnson down, mounted him and dominated with ground and pound at the close of the third round. The third round was dominant for McCall, but all three judges scored it 10-9, and no judges gave McCall a 10-8 round.
And that makes Johnson the winner. Now Johnson will watch to see who wins between Joseph Benavidez and Yasuhiro Urushitani, with the winner of that bout facing Johnson for the inaugural UFC flyweight title.
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