Demetrious Johnson is making a habit of getting things done late. If he's not going the full 25 minutes to earn a dominant decision victory, he's getting submissions in the fifth round. He finished John Moraga in the fifth, and now he has a record that can't be broken - the latest submission in UFC history, at 4:59 of the fifth round at UFC 186. That's pretty amazing.
Other than an event first round, Johnson had been controlling the fight. He was clearly going to win a decision. But he still showed that he wanted to finish, and he did. DJ takes a lot of heat for not being controversial or a "draw", but what he does in the cage is worthy of everyone's respect. He truly is one of the best fighters in the world, even if he doesn't have the most exciting style in the cage.
Speaking of that though, the "best fighter in the world" adage as a promotional tool is getting really old. As soon as Joe Rogan got done with calling DJ the best fighter in the world, the screen switched to a UFC 187 promo. The first line of said promo? "Jon Jones, the best fighter in the world..."
- I sure hope that John Dodson beats Zach Makovsky at UFC 187, but that rematch with DJ is going to be awesome.
- The Quinton Jackson vs. Fabio Maldonado was good, not great. Rampage certainly showed a lot more than he usually does. Fabio was Fabio. It was what it was. I'm out of cliches.
- Michael Bisping engaged in a great scrap with C.B. Dollaway. Dollaway connected with his left hook many many times, which Bisping should have seen coming. Maybe his eye issues are to blame? I don't know. Dollaway nearly finished him late in the first, but Bisping really put it on Dollaway over the last two rounds and made it an entertaining scrap. It was very close and I thought it could have gone either way. Bisping did get away with a cage grab in the third, which leads us to our next fight...
- John Makdessi just straight clubbered Shane Campbell. But there was one thing I was not a fan of at all - Campbell survived the first onslaught after getting dropped (which may have been enough to stop the fight right there), and he got up and went for a takedown. Right in front of the referee, Makdessi clearly grabbed the cage to prevent going to the mat. He stayed on his feet, and finished the fight less than a minute later. The referee did nothing. Campbell may very well have survived the round if he got that takedown, and the entire fight might have changed. Sure, Makdessi may still have won and the only thing different would have been the time it ended. But it's super frustrating seeing things like that.
- Thomas Almeida opened up the main card in style, taking some good shots from Yves Jabouin before catching him with a left and pouring it on. He got a standing stoppage, which is unusual, but it was the right call. That being said, I thought Jabouin looked good before the stoppage and I still think he has a lot to offer in the division. Also, Almeida looks like he's 12.
- While it might not have been everyone's cup of tea and probably happened eight years too late, I actually really liked the bout between Patrick Cote and Joe Riggs. It had a lot of great scrambles and both men took some chances. It might not have been the smartest fight ever, but it was at least entertaining. Cote's evolution as a fighter is really interesting to me, though the stand'n'bang fans may disagree.
- Sarah Kaufman looked great for a round, but Alexis Davis pretty much schooled her on the ground. It's sad that Sarah had to tap for that long though, and it's 100% the fault of the referee, Jerin Valel. That's the third time this year he has completely bungled a fight finish. How many more times does it happen before the guy A) gets someone seriously hurt; or B) finally gets his license revoked? That was pathetic.
- Is Chad Laprise the next Diego Brandao? He came out throwing everything possible at a reluctant Bryan Barberena. But then he...just faded. He still did enough to pick up the win, but the last two rounds were very close and Laprise didn't throw half of what he had in the first. Regardless, he got the win and he's still undefeated, but he doesn't look like the top prospect I thought he was.
- David Michaud really didn't have much for Olivier Aubin-Mercier. He did drop him once out of nowhere, but OAM was the stronger grappler and his kicking game mostly kept Michaud at bay on the feet. Aubin-Mercier did show some nice technique on the ground getting the finish.
- The Fight Pass prelims were kind of underwhelming. The two ladies matchups had some decent action but lots of lulls as well, and the Nordine Taleb vs. Chris Clements bout had hardly any action. All three went to decisions.