Since rising to the top of the UFC flyweight division, Demetrious Johnson has faced only one real criticism, a minor one about his inability to finish fights. Historically, as divisions skew lighter, less finishes result, so that complaint has been mostly muted.
For one fight, Johnson can brush even those issues aside. The champion appeared nearly flawless for the entirety of the bout, giving his Seattle hometown fans their money's worth for 4+ rounds before closing out the UFC on FOX 8 show with a fifth-round armbar submission of challenger John Moraga.
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It was only the fourth time in UFC history that a 5th-round finish has occurred. Johnson joined Ricco Rodriguez over Randy Couture at UFC 39, B.J. Penn stopping Diego Sanchez at UFC 107, and Anderson Silva tapping out Chael Sonnen at UFC 117.
Afterward, Johnson brushed off the importance of the finish.
"It wasn't important at all," he told the Key Arena fans. "I'm here to fight, and if the finish comes to me, I'm going to take it. I felt great. It's just a show of things to come."
That was only one piece of his brilliant evening. Facing a former Division I collegiate wrestler, Johnson, who only wrestled in high school, put on a clinic in the wrinkles that change the discipline when it is applied to MMA. He easily out-wrestled Moraga, going a perfect 12-for-12 in takedowns, according to FightMetric.
Using his speed and timing, Johnson had no problem getting in and out for strikes before changing levels and getting in on Moraga's hips.
That left Moraga confused as to what was coming next. Aside from his takedown perfection, Johnson out-struck Moraga by a total of 112-53.
Moraga was game throughout, however. He he had his best moment in the fourth when he cracked Johnson with his best punch of the night, a straight right that sent Johnson backpedaling through the fence. It was Moraga's one opening, but as he smelled blood and charged in, Johnson ducked in for yet another takedown.
Johnson is now 18-2-1 overall while Moraga dropped to 13-2.