Coming into Saturday night’s main event, Demetrious Johnson had won 6 fights in a row and had ascended to the top of many pundits’ top pound-for-pound rankings. In Kyoji Horiguchi, Johnson was given an interesting style matchup. While relatively inexperienced, Horiguchi had worked his way to a UFC title shot with a blend of slick movement and one-punch knockout power, but it seems a title shot came too soon for Japanese native.
DJ came into this one a huge favorite, and he showed the clear skill advantage he has over Horiguchi throughout. From round one, Mighty Mouse used effective striking to set up takedowns and clinch work to neutralize Horiguchi’s power. As the rounds went by, Horiguchi began to tire and it was then that the champion came into his own, taking the challenger down at will before scoring a last-second armbar victory.
Demetrious Johnson def. Kyoji Horiguchi via submission (armbar) R5, 4:59
What was the high point of the fight?
Demetrious Johnson’s last-second armbar was the high point of this fight. The fact that the champion was still in pursuit of the finish that late in the fight is a testament to his insane work ethic and conditioning.
Where do these two go from here?
Johnson is a victim of his own success. He has beaten all of the divisions most marketable and talented fighters and there is really nobody interesting for him left to fight, though I expect him to face John Dodson in a rematch if Dodson wins at UFC 187 next month.
Kyoji Horiguchi is a gifted fighter and his best fighting years are still ahead of him, expect him to come back better than ever. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Horiguchi face off against Chris Cariaso next.
Watch now, later, or never?
Watch now. Johnson is a joy to watch for fans who can appreciate the intricacies of the fight game.
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