In the co-main event of UFC 152, Demetrious Johnson picked up a close split decision win over Joseph Benavidez to become the first UFC flyweight champion. Every round was close except the fourth, where Benavidez dropped Johnson and nearly finished him with a guillotine. Johnson survived though, and two judges thought he did enough to take the fight. The scores were 48-47, 47-48, and 49-46.
The story of the fight was speed, technique, and an annoying crowd that was booing for no real reason. Johnson appeared to take the first and fifth rounds for sure, while Benavidez took the second and fourth. The third was extremely even, and could easily have been a 10-10. In the end though, Johnson is the one that walked out of the cage with the belt.
What was the high point of this fight?
The close call in the fourth. Benavidez clubbed Mighty Mouse, grabbed a guillotine, and jumped into mount. Johnson started kicking his legs like crazy to get them free, and eventually popped out.
Where do they go from here?
Joe B's future is a little harder to predict. They could stick him in there with the consensus number three guy in the division, Ian McCall. Or they could put him against an up-and-comer like John Moraga or Chris Caraiso.
Watch now, later, or never?
I'm torn between now and later. It's a long fight with periods of relative inactivity. But it was technically marvelous. If you like technique, watch it now. If you are an action junkie, you can wait on it a bit.