Johnson, who has successfully defended his flyweight title 11 consecutive times (a record for any UFC champion), faces Cejudo, an Olympic wrestling champion who has won two of three fights since losing to Johnson in April 2016, in the co-main event.
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Round 1: Michael Beltran on hand to officiate this championship bout. Cejudo takes the center of the Octagon. High kick blocked by Cejudo, low kick scores for Johnson. It looks like Cejudo rolled his left ankle, but he doesn’t seem too hindered. Johnson staying up on the scorecard with leg kicks. Cejudo takes a head kick from Johnson. Everything Cejudo throws, Johnson appears to be just out of range. Johnson lands a leg kick then ducks a Cejudo hook. Body kick connects for Johnson. Cejudo can’t get out of the way of the leg kicks either. Redness showing on both his legs. Cejudo catches a high kick and pushes Johnson down, he hits Johnson with a left hand as they return to their feet. Snapping leg kick by Johnson.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Johnson.
Round 2: Johnson grabs Cejudo’s leg off a kick attempt and Cejudo balances on the other, hopping over to the fence. They separate. Inside leg kick by Johnson. They exchange punches in close before resetting at distance. Takedown attempt by Cejudo is blocked. Cejudo with a punch over the top as Johnson steps in. Nice body kick by Cejudo, then Johnson answers with one of his own. Cejudo with a takedown attempt that is initially blocked, but he doesn’t give up on it and Johnson is on his back. Cejudo in half guard. Johnson working to get up, he twists into position for a single leg. Nothing to it as Cejudo stays in control.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Cejudo. Overall, 19-19.
Round 3: Knee to the body connects for Johnson, Cejudo fires a right to Johnson’s mid-section. Johnson in pursuit as Cejudo looks to reset. Cejudo looks for a takedown after eating a leg kick, Johnson stuffs it and Cejudo looks to attack his head, but it’s a no go. Johnson pressuring Cejudo against the cage. Knees to the body score for Cejudo as they break apart once more. Leg kick spins Cejudo around. Knee to the body for Johnson this time, which opens Cejudo up for a short right. Cejudo counters a leg kick by coming over top with a right hand. Kick to the body is money for Johnson. Loud leg kick lands for Johnson, then a quick left hook. He avoids the worst of a Cejudo flurry. Clinch by Cejudo and get gets low for a takedown, Johnson rolls and scrambles and he’s free. Another stiff body kick connects for Johnson. He takes a risk with a jumping knee, Cejudo counters with a takedown, but gets nothing out of it as Johnson is again quick to get back to his feet.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Johnson. Overall, 29-28 Johnson.
Round 4: Right hook by Johnson off of a missed kick by Cejudo. Leg kick by Johnson lands awkwardly and he stumbles back, they exchange punches as Johnson gets back to his feet. 1-2 combo for Johnson, but Cejudo backs him up with a left hook. Cejudo’s lead leg continues to take punishment. As does his body, courtesy of another Johnson kick. Cejudo grabs at Johnson as the champ lunges in, he gets low and secures a slick takedown. Cejudo on top in half guard. He’s got an arm around Johnson’s head, looking for control. Back to full guard for Cejudo, then again to half guard. He lands a short punch, but otherwise his offense has been limited. Short punches from Cejudo, who ends the round on top. Incredibly close fight.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Cejudo. Overall, 38-38.
Round 5: Leg kick again by Johnson. He follows with a short left in close. Cejudo controlling the center of the Octagon. Body kick for Johnson is good, but Cejudo answers with a counter punch. Johnson stumbles as he avoids a quick Cejudo combination. Johnson left hand cracks Cejudo, who is still struggling to maintain any consistent offense on the feet. Cejudo goes in for a takedown and he has a body lock from behind with Johnson up against the fence. Johnson refuses to be taken down. Cejudo perseveres and gets it, but Johnson is up almost immediately. Left hand by Cejudo on the break. Head kick by Johnson. Cejudo tries to end the round with a trip, it’s blocked, but he gets a couple of knees to the body. Both fighters throwing hands as the buzzer sounds.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Cejudo. Overall, 48-47 Cejudo.
Official result: Henry Cejudo def. Demetrious Johnson via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) to become the new UFC flyweight champion