If there's ever to be a UFC return for former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, his efforts at One FC 9 aren't going to help his chances.
In addition to missing weight by six pounds prior to the fight, Sylvia eventually lost Friday after an elbow opened up a cut on the forehead of Sylvia, prompting the ringside doctor to recommend to the referee the bout be halted. The end came officially at 3:25 of the third frame with Johnson as the victor.
Still, this was Johnson's fight for nearly the entire duration of the contest. With the exception on a final exchange of strikes toward the end of the third round that had Johnson clearly hurt, the bout was largely controlled by unheralded heavyweight.
In the first frame, both fighters exchanged heavy blows in the early portion of the round before Johnson was able towards the latter half of the frame to begin using his wrestling. Sylvia was adept at controlling posture on the ground and reducing Johnson's ability to land heavy blows, but the blueprint was set.
For almost the entire second frame, Johnson was able to take Sylvia to the mat by securing a double leg and turning the corner. Johnson worked on top for several minutes before the referee stood them up, but Johnson spent the majority of the time winning in top position with Sylvia helpless to stand up under his own power.
The KOTC veteran went back to this strategy in the third round, but fatigue made securing the takedown harder to come by. After several stand-ups, Sylvia began to pour on the strikes, predominantely from the clinch. Johnson eventually ate a powerful knee before catching Sylvia's leg. Johnson dragged Sylvia to the mat where he ended up in half guard. A follow-up short elbow from Johnson landed on Sylvia, cutting the former champion immediately over his right eyebrow. After the blood began to poor, the bout was temporarily halted and eventually called off when the officials concluded Sylvia could no longer safely continue.
Johnson moves to 7-1 in his professional MMA career with his only loss coming to Daniel Cormier. Sylvia, however, drops to 31-9 with 1 no-contest.