Joseph Benavidez hasn't fought since winning his flyweight tournament semifinal this past March (Esther Lin, MMA Fighting).
This is the UFC 152 live blog for Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson, a UFC flyweight championship bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Benanvidez, who has won his past four fights, will face Johnson, who is 2-1-1 in his last four fights, on the main card.
Check out the live blog below.
Round 1: Yves Levigne is the referee for the first-ever flyweight title bout. Johnson pops Benavidez with a left. They clinch and Benavidez lands a couple knees. Benavidez clinches Johnson along the fence. Johnson reverses and they break. Johnson pops Benavidez with a straight right coming in. Benavidez whiffs on a takedown attempt as Johnson steps aside. Benavidez tags "Mighty Mouse" with a spinning back fist. Benavidez tries to pin him against the cage, but Johnson breaks loose. One minute left. Johnson lands a well-timed right as Benavidez comes in. They clinch, Benavidez goes for a kneebar but doesn't get it. MMAFighting scores the round for Demetrious Johnson, 10-9.
Round 2: Benavidez just can't seem to find his range. As soon as I say that, Benavidez land a right hand and a low kick. Johnson with a leg kick. Benavidez chases down "Mighty Mouse" and lands a couple rights to the jaw. Benavidez grabs for a leg, can't get it. Two minutes left. Johnson's speed and footwork continues to be a puzzle for Benavidez. Benavidez shoots for a takedown and misses again. Johnson hits a knee as Benavidez gets up. Same deal as the round comes to a close, Benavidez lands a right and a left in the late moments. MMAFighting scores the round for Demetrious Johnson, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: Benavidez connects with a combo and misses with an attempt at a head kick. Johnson catches a Benavidez body kick and a scramble ensues. Benavidez is bleeding from a cut over his left temple. Benavidez with a low kick. Benavidez throws a low kick. Benavidez scores a takedown, Johnson scrambles to his feet, with Benavidez scoring a knee off the break. Late clinch followed by a right by Johnson. MMAFighting scores the round for Joseph Benavidez, 10-9 (29-28 overall).
Round 4: Benavidez lands a huge right hand which drops him. Benavidez maneuvers into position for a choke. Has it in tight, Johnson kicks his legs vigorously trying to get out. It's a one-armed choke by Benavidez. Johnson gets out and catches Benavidez in a leglock. Benavidez gets out and ends up in Johnson's half-guard. Benavidez works into side control. Johnson spins out and they're back to their feet, clinching along the fence. Benavidez goes for a trip but ends up on the bottom. Back to their feet. Johnson has Benavidez in a body lock. They break. About a minute left. Johnson with a takedown, back to their feet, Benavidez lands a kick on their way up. Johnson with a takedown and land short elbows to the torso. Round ends in that position. Tons of action in the round. MMAFighting scores the round for Joseph Benavidez, 10-9 (38-38 overall).
Round 5: Johnson looks the fresher of the two. Johnson with a takedown, Benavidez gets up, but Johnson with another takedown. This time when Benavidez gets up, he eats a high kick. Johnson taunting Benavidez. Another takedown by Johnson. Benavidez spins out, but Johnson grabs a front facelock. They stand and break. Two minutes left. Benavidez goes for a single-leg, but doesn't get it. Final minute. Benavidez starting to look desperate, but can't get anything done. MMAFighting scores the round for Demetrious Johnson, 10-9 (48-47 Johnson overall).
Demetrious Johnson def. Joseph Benavidez via split deicision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) to become the inaugural UFC flyweight champion.
48-47 Johnson 48-47 Benavidez 49-46 Johnson
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