Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly.
Demetrious Johnson defeated Miguel Torres in a brilliant grappling affair in the headlining preliminary bout on the UFC's free Spike TV broadcast on Saturday night at UFC 130, garnering 29-28 scores across the board from all three judges.
Torres and Johnson traded sweeps in an entertaining grappling match in the first with Torres edging Johnson with an extended stay in top control. The second round was more of the same with Johnson pressing for takedowns and Torres creatively defending with sweeps and submission attempts. Johnson's offense was neutralized for most of the round by Torres' grappling chops, threatening with submissions and tangling up Johnson's limbs. Johnson was able to pull off his own sweeps and produce some limited offense, causing some uncertainty in how the round would be scored.
Johnson controlled most of the third round before Torres beautifully swept Johnson into full mount with roughly two minutes left on the clock. Torres threatened with guillotine choke attempts, but Johnson evaded to his feet. Once on the feet, Johnson finished strong with a takedown preceded by a flurry of shots at Torres' chin.
Despite Johnson's tiny size, he's won three straight fights in the UFC's bantamweight division, two taking place under the WEC banner in victories over Nick Pace and Damacio Page. His most recent victory came against Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto at UFC 126 in February, frustrating the Japanese import with speedy footwork and well-timed takedowns.
Torres was once considered one of the pound-for-pound greats in the UFC's bantamweight division before the weight class got much deeper. Losses to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez served as a rude awakening for Torres, but he rebounded with victories over Charlie Valencia and Antonio Banuelos to begin working his way back into the mix at the upper reaches of the division.