Don't sleep on UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Not even in the last seconds of the fight.
That's a lesson unheralded Japanese challenger Kyoji Horiguchi learned the hard way Saturday night at UFC 186. Horiguchi hung around in the main event at Montreal's Bell Centre and it appeared he was going to go the distance with one of the sport's best pound-for-pound fighters.
But Johnson applied an armbar in the fight's closing seconds and got the tapout at 4:59 of the final round, the latest finish in UFC history, as he put an exclamation point on his sixth successful title defense.
"I had 25 minutes and took my time and I got it done," Johnson (22-2) said.
Horiguchi tagged Johnson a couple times in the opening round and landed a few solid leg kicks. By the second round, though, "Mighty Mouse" figured out his range and began landing takedowns at will, adding in well-placed knees as the challenger attempted to get back to his feet. This became a pattern, as Johnson's relentless grappling and fast pace was simply too much for the young challenger.
"It's difficult, he's very fast, I don't want to be stupid and get knocked out," Johnson said.
With the win, Johnson, who became the inaugural flyweight champ in 2012, had his sixth successful title defense. He's won eight in a row and is 12-1-1 in his past 14 fights, losing only to then-UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz in that run.
Horiguchi (15-2) had a nine-fight win streak snapped.