Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round-by-round scoring and play-by-play commentary of The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale: Johnson vs. Elliott at The Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A pair of flyweight bouts top the UFC’s first show of December. The main event sees reigning 125 lbs champion Demetrious Johnson put his belt on the line against Tim Elliott, who won the TUF 24 Tournament of Champions, thus earning himself a title shot against Mighty Mouse. Meanwhile, TUF 24 coaches Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo square off in an important co-main event, with both men seeking another crack at the belt.
Live results and play-by-play will commence with the Fight Pass broadcast at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT. They will move to FS1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT for four prelims fights, and stay there for the main card’s six fights starting at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. The full lineup and schedule follows. Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on the each match up.
Preliminary Card (Fight Pass, 7 PM ET/4 PM PT)
Devin Clark vs. Josh Stansbury – Light Heavyweights
Round 1: Early body kick by Clark. He ducks under a strike and goes for a takedown. Stansbury defends it and throws some knees to the body. They’re at a relative stalemate and break from the clinch at the 90 second mark. Two-punch combination by Clark but Stansbury clocks him with a counter right hand. Clark goes up high with a kick and it’s blocked. Takedown attempt by Clark is completed, but Stansbury has momentary control of his head. Clark working from half-guard and throwing punches to the body. Stansbury is looking for an underhook. Clark stands up and Stansbury also gets back up but is immediately smothered. Spinning backfist by Clark whizzes by. Stansbury has a hold of the neck and drops for a guillotine. He doesn’t have it, tries to adjust it into a standing guillotine but Clark defends it and rides out the final seconds. 10-9 Clark.
Round 2: Clark immediately comes out with a front kick to the face. Stansbury with a right hand over the top but Clark doesn’t take full impact. Poor takedown by Stansbury. They’re clinched up against the fence with Stansbury trying to take the back. He’s trying to kick the leg out but Clark stays upright. Clark is free and punches is way out of the clinch and tags Stansbury a couple of times. Clinched up again and Stansbury throws some knees to the thigh. Nothing really notable happening here. Clark with a good right hand but Stansbury answers back with two rights of his own. Combination by Clark. There are maybe 30 fans in the arena, so we can hear Devin Clark’s dad loud and clear. More clinching. Again it’s Clark landing the better punches in these exchanges, and now Clark is going for the takedown to end the round. He doesn’t commit to it, then finishes with a left hook before the horn sounds. Dull round but I weigh Clark’s offense more than Stansbury’s control. 10-9 Clark and 20-18 Clark overall.
Round 3: Clark pops the jab out. Nifty uppercut glances Stansbury as he moves back. Stansbury gets tagged but counters with a right on Clark. Another good shot by Stansbury, who moves in for a takedown. He has control of the wrists and scores with an uppercut before they get back to striking range. Stansbury with a jab. Clark with a body kick. Decent takedown try by Clark but Stansbury stuffs it and puts Clark up against the fence. He gets reversed and Clark throws soft knees to the shin and lower thigh of Stansbury. About 90 seconds left. Left hand lands for Clark. Stansbury with a jab. Counter right uppercut by Stansbury but Clark connects with his combination of punches. Body kick by Clark. Single leg by Clark is telegraphed and Stansbury gives up his back on a scramble, and that’s how the fight ends. I have it 10-9 Clark and 30-27 Clark overall.
Official result: Devin Clark def. Josh Stansbury via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Elvis Mutapcic vs. Anthony Smith – Middleweights
Round 1: Hard leg kick by Smith. Mutapcic with a leg kick of his own that puts Smith off-balance and Elvis is now on top uncorking big punches. Mutapcic with elbows from Smith’s butterfly guard. Armbar try by Smith leads to Mutapcic slamming his way out of that. Smith now getting elbowed heavily. Mutapcic is now in Smith’s closed guard. More ground-and-pound by Mutapcic. Elvis stands momentarily but Smith doesn’t have enough space to get back to his feet. Mutapcic dives back into smith’s guard and pummels him with more strikes. Ref tells the fighters to “work” which … okay. Whatever. Smith is seated with his back against the fence. Mutapcic won’t let him wall walk and then elbows him. Smith has a headlock but Mutapcic easily shrugs it off. Mutapcic totally dominated this opening frame. 10-8 Mutapcic.
Round 2: They start the round by trading punches, many of which are not accurate. Big knee by Smith that caught Mutapcic’s attention. Smith now picking apart Mutapcic at range. Front kick by Smith. Right hand by Smith. Mutapcic might be hurt. Another right hand by the tall, rangy Anthony Smith. Mutapcic is LEAKING blood on the left side of his face. Leg kick by Mutapcic but he gets stung with a straight right. More punches by Smith are connecting. The tide has turned in a big way. Mutapcic with a body kick but he is getting wrecked on the feet. Standing elbow and a knee by Smith. Mutapcic’s uppercut is short. Straight right snaps the head back. Big standing elbow drops Mutapcic! Smith pounces with hammerfists on the ground to get the finish!
Official result: Anthony Smith def. Elvis Mutapcic via TKO (standing elbow and punches) at 3:27 of round 2
Preliminary Card (FS1, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT)
Round 1: Moyle takes down Curran right away. Wasn’t even 15 seconds. The UFC newcomer is in Curran’s guard but not getting any real quality strikes off. Curran is able to get back to her feet. Nice right hand by Curran. Kick is caught by Moyle and she backs Curran towards the fence, now goes for a single leg. Curran defends it well. Good knees by Moyle to the head of Curran. Moyle again trying for the single. She has the left leg but loses it and Curran is going for the neck and trying to choke her out standing. Curran can’t finish the submission but definitely a scare there for Moyle. Good elbow in the clinch by Curran. Knee by Moyle is a nice answer. There may have been a clash of heads during a striking exchange. Don’t see any bleeding. Moyle tagging Curran with some good strikes. Body kick by Moyle. They tie up and are exchanging short strikes in the clinch until the horn sounds. 10-9 Moyle.
Round 2: There was a clash of heads as I noted in round 1, and the left side of Moyle’s face was affected. Nice body kick by Moyle, now she goes for a leg kick, has another hold of a single leg but Curran keeps her balance and defends it. Good standing elbows on the inside by Moyle. Curran with elbows of her own whilst defending a takedown. Moyle is really keeping up a pressuring, grueling pace here. Curran scrambles and tries to take Moyle’s back. Knee by Moyle is blocked and they’re back to the center of the cage. Sharp jab by Curran. Good 1-2 combination by Curran. She’s timing Moyle better in these striking exchanges. Pushing right hand by Moyle. Curran’s takedown defense has been on point, but as soon as I say that, Moyle picks her up and slams her to the mat. Moyle is bleeding but I don’t know from where. She’s in half-guard with 20 seconds left. Moyle with good ground-and-pound to end the round. Close round, but I have it 10-9 Curran and 19-19 overall.
Round 3: Moyle presses forward with 3 punches. They’re engaged in a struggle against the fence. Another Moyle takedown attempt but Curran is defending very well. Two knees to the body. Moyle is bleeding above the left eye. Curran still having to deal with Moyle’s persistence with these takedowns. Failed head-and-arm throw nearly leads to Curran taking Moyle’s back. It’s Curran on top with 2:30 to go. Moyle sweeps Curran and then action is halted for an illegal knee is thrown. Replays looked like a legal knee in the chest. Perhaps Chris Tognoni stopped it because of Moyle’s cut. Action continues and Moyle is throwing knees to the body. Both women landing big shots but Curran gets sloppy going forward and Moyle hits a reactive takedown with over 45 seconds to go. Moyle with the ground-and-pound again and the fight is over. I have it 10-9 Curran and 29-28 Curran overall. Good scrap.
Official result: Jamie Moyle def. Kailin Curran by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Brendan O’Reilly – Lightweights
Round 1: Kim comes out aggressively (as expected) and is hitting O’Reilly with clinch strikes. O’Reilly reverses positions briefly but now it’s a battle for positional control. O’Reilly throws a knee and Kim times it beautifully and takes him down. Kim advances to side control. He steps over and has the back, but only one hook in. O’Reilly is back to his feet and then eats a knee, but the knee may have been while he was downed. Ref said something but nothing else happened. Kim has O’Reilly down again and with full control of the back. O’Reilly tries to spin inside Kim’s guard and ends up mounted. Kim loses the mount but is punishing O’Reilly from top position. O’Reilly throws up his legs in search of a submission but it isn’t there. Dominant round for “Maestro” Dong. 10-9 Kim
Round 2: Easy takedown for Kim to kick off this round. He’s in half-guard and punishing O’Reilly, who is doing close to nothing of use off of his back. Kim passes to side control. Great sweep by O’Reilly and now he has Kim in some trouble with back control but then Kim ends up on top. O’Reilly is threatening with a kimura off of his back. Kim into side control and now full mount. He has his back but loses the position and O’Reilly gets back to his feet. Nice elbow by O’Reilly. His best strike of the fight. He’s landed another elbow followed by an uppercut. Good finish to the round by O’Reilly but he’s 2 rounds down. 10-9 Kim and 20-18 overall.
Round 3: Left hook and a right hand and then a spinning attack by O’Reilly. Kim gets tripped in the clinch but is immediately back up. The South Korean has a hold of O’Reilly’s left leg, but the Aussie defends with his back against the fence. Another elbow by O’Reilly. And another one. Kim might be fading a tad but O’Reilly needs a finish. O’Reilly just keeps smacking Kim with those elbows, and Kim is just doing nothing. Spinning backfist evaded by Kim, and now Kim has O’Reilly defending another takedown attempt. Ref deems not enough activity after 30 seconds and separates them. The joke is on Mark Smith, as they’re back to clinching against the fence. Kim trips O’Reilly and is working on getting the right hook in for full back mount. O’Reilly now fully mounted on a scramble with 35 seconds to go. Brendan sweeps into Kim’s guard and has Kim’s back against the fence. He gets a late takedown and the fight ends. 10-9 O’Reilly but 29-28 Kim overall.
Official result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Brendan O’Reilly by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Rob Font vs. Matt Schnell – Bantamweights
Round 1: Early takedown by Font is completed. Schnell very active off of his back right away. Font stays on Schnell and takes his back, but first drags him away from the fence. He uses the kimura to drag him closer to the center of the mat and has the body lock. Font is looking for a rear-naked choke but Schnell is handfighting and escapes to his feet. Good leg kick by Schnell. Font going to work with a jab. Front kick by Font rocks Schnell! Font swarms and lands some shots but Schnell looks like he’’s recovered and starts throwing back. Massive knee from Font has dropped Schnell. Ground-and-pound by Font as he looks for the finish. Schnell is in big trouble. He is getting destroyed with elbows and now taking a series of punches while flattened out on his stomach and he is out! Rob Font with the impressive finish.
Official result: Rob Font def. Matt Schnell via TKO (knee and punches) at 3:47 of round 1
Ryan Hall vs. Gray Maynard – Featherweights
Round 1: Hall throws some kicks and then somersaults for a leg. Maynard steps out of it. Hall shoots from way out, Maynard didn’t even get touched. Maynard chases Hall and whiffs on two right hands and then slips. Hall now attacking the leg. Maynard scrambles and has Hall get back to his feet. Gray is chasing the right hand and misses again. They’re in a brief tangly mess before Maynard gets back up. Hall is diving to pull guard and doing everything to get this fit to the mat. Maynard with a leg kick and then gets hit with a counter right. Head kick for Hall. Crowd is restless already. Maynard is restless, too. He goes forward with punches and Hall flops to his back, then stands up again. Hall threw a spinning back kick. It didn’t land, but it was nice to see. 10-9 Hall.
Round 2: Maynard just can’t land that right hand and Hall catches Maynard with a head kick. Ryan with a side kick to the body. Any time Maynard tries to engage in close, Hall is looking for a leg. Gray wriggles free after Hall grabs a leg after missing another strike. Hard head kick tags Maynard and freezes him briefly. Ryan Hall is outstriking Gray Maynard. Jumping switch kick by Hall doesn’t connect. Maynard with a right hand. Body kick by Hall, Maynard catches it, Hall goes to his back, and Maynard doesn’t follow him there. Hall AGAIN with that high kick that hooks around. Utterly nothing of note happens in the final 30 seconds. 10-9 Hall and 20-18 Hall overall.
Round 3: Maynard finally throws some kicks on the ground. I think Maynard just flipped Hall off. Maybe he wanted him to stand back up. Hall cracks Maynard with a head kick again. This fight is wretched. Hall rolls for the leg and then it looked like he complained that he got kicked while he was downed. Whatever the case, it’s back to standing, where Maynard is landing nothing of note and Hall is scoring with plenty of kicks. Another high kick gets to Maynard’s noggin. Maynard is getting nothing substantive done. Oh now what’s going on? Maynard gets upkicked but then argues he was downed. For a brief period, Maynard goes into Hall’s guard and Hall throws up his legs but Maynard backs out and they’re standing again. Hall rolls again and then throws an upkick. Seconds are waning. Another hook kick by Hall. The right ends. Goodness that was awful. 10-9 Hall and 30-27 Hall overall.
Official result: Ryan Hall def. Gray Maynard by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Main Card (FS1, 10 PM ET/7 PM PT)
Ryan Benoit vs. Brandon Moreno – Flyweights
Round 1: Benoit has a high kick caught and then he’s slammed to the canvas by Moreno. Ryan is back to his feet but Moreno is trying to get him down again. Benoi defends and they’re back to striking. Hard left hand by Benoit. They trade punches before Moreno gets Benoit down, but he can’t hold him there. Moreno has Beoit’s back and is throwing knees to the thigh. Foot stomp by Moreno and then Benoit is free. Uh oh. Groin kick by Moreno. Benoit doesn’t take too much time to recover and the action has resumed. They’re exchanging wild strikes like mad men in the final minute. A Benoit body kick was the best strike landed, methinks. Still, 10-9 Moreno.
Round 2: Wow. Benoit charges like he’s been shot out of a cannon and goes in for a takedown, but Moreno is prepared to handle it and stuffs it. Right hand by Moreno. Good counter right by Moreno, as well. And then a left hand slips in for Moreno. Benoit whiffs on two punches. Big left hand leads to a flash knockdown for Benoit. Moreno is back to his feet and cracks Benoit with a right. Good left hook by Benoit. A right hand on the side of the head by Benoit. Moreno decides it’s time to go to the ground, and he takes Benoit down with about 2 minutes to go in the round. Moreno is getting in several left hands against the fence. Benoit kicks Moreno away from him and stands back up. Moreno answers by throwing him back down, and into half-guard. The horn sounds. 10-9 Moreno and 20-18 Moreno overall.
Round 3: Looping right hand by Benoit lands and Moreno was a little buzzed by it. Moreno is in on a single-leg takedown. He can’t complete it but he spins for the back, and they return to the center. Moreno with a wild spinning kick that doesn’t come close to connecting. Straight right by Moreno does connect flush, though. Hard straight right may have hurt Benoit. He backed up in a way to suggest he felt Moreno’s power. Moreno slips on a flying knee. Benoit has his back taken but Moreno can’t take him down. Two minutes left and it feels like Moreno is in control of this fight. Head kick is blocked by Benoit but he’s running out of time. Benoit swings a left that Moreno dodges. Takedown attempt by Moreno is thwarted by a blatant fence grab. Benoit cracks Moreno with a left hook with 20 seconds to go. Benoit is swinging for the fences and losing his own balance. The fight ends. 10-9 Moreno and 30-27 Moreno overall.
Official result: Brandon Moreno def. Ryan Benoit by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexis Davis vs. Sara McMann – Women’s Bantamweights
Round 1: Right hand by McMann early. Davis fires back with her own rights. McMann with a body punch. Strong combination punching by McMann gets through Davis’ guard. They’re standing and trading but now McMann ducks under and gets the takedown. The Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling is on top but Davis is repeatedly elbowing McMann from her back. McMann has to be aware of Davis setting up a triangle choke. McMann not doing much in Davis’ high closed guard. She throws a short elbow. Now she’s getting in some better ground-and-pound. They’renear the fence and McMann fires off some left hands. Davis is working on a triangle choke. Elbows by Davis and she is really going for the triangle. Looks like McMann will survive the round but Davis finishes strongly. I think Davis won the round from her back. 10-9 Davis.
Round 2: Good right hand landed by Davis. McMann with an outside leg kick. Powerful hip toss by McMann but Davis is searching for a leg lock. McMann now is in half-guard. Short lefts by McMann. Possible arm-triangle in play for McMann. She’d have to pass for the other side and she has done it. McMann has the choke locked in tight and Davis taps! Excellent finish and a huge win for McMann.
Official result: Sara McMann def. Alexis Davis by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:52 of round 2
Jared Cannonier vs. Ion Cutelaba – Light Heavyweights
Round 1: Cutelaba walked right up to Cannonier’s face during the intros. As for the fight itself, Cannonier starts with a leg kick. Cutelaba rushes forward with punches. Sharp right hand over the top by Cannonier. Hard knees to the body by Cutelaba. Counter left hook by Cutelaba and then he attacks the body. Fast start to this one. Knee to the body by Cannonier. Cutelaba judo throws Cannonier down hard. He’s unleashing heavy ground-and-pound. He just misses with a big right hand on the mat. Cannonier closes his guard briefly but Cutelaba postures up and lands some more shots. Cannonier sweeps and bucks Cutelaba off and they’re back to standing. Cutelaba takes Cannonier down again and it looked like he had mount but he didn’t. Ion is just throwing everything with bad intentions. Cannonier stands up and nearly gets decapitated by a head kick, but it just misses. Fun round. 10-9 Cutelaba
Round 2: Cannonier gets in a good right hand but Cutelaba is throwing with more volume. Cannonier slips and rips and then is taken down momentarily. He’s now on a knee but Cutelaba drags him down and slams home some punches before Cannonier can get back up. Another trip by Cutelaba but it’s not as powerful. Hedoes wind up on top. Cannonier does well not to absorb too much damage before returning to his feet. Cannonier with a good jab and a right hand. Left hook and a huge right hand by Cannonier has Cutelaba turned around. Cutelaba with another takedown, making it a perfect 6-for-6. Ion gets warned for headbutting Cannonier in the chest. Elbow and a right hand by Ion before Jared stands back up. They’re clinched up, and Cannonier looks like he wants the takedown. They’re handfighting. Cannonier with the takedown attempt and it just about backfires when he lifted him up. The ensuing scramble sees Cannonier wind up on top. Decent left elbow by the Alaskan. Cannonier with some short elbows again from half-guard. 10-9 Cannonier and 19-19 overall
Round 3: Left hook and then a power right by Cutelaba. Wayward spinning backfist by Cutelaba. Big body kick by Cannonier. The takedown defense continues to be a problem for Cannonier but he gets back to his feet again and clocks Ion with a right hand. Stiff right hand by Cannonier. Cutelaba loves that backfist. Cannonier drills Cutelaba with a short uppercut. Cutelaba may be fading here. Counter right hand by Cannonier after another wild punch by Cutelaba. Cannonier takes an elbow but scores with a right hand and then a 1-2. Cutelaba’s output is waning and Cannonier is tagging him consistently. Great dirty boxing by Cannonier. Cutelaba with a backfist and now he’s just being completely nuts out there. Cannonier is even letting him hit him. Jared is damn near taunting him. Cannonier with two more shots to end a really fun fight. 10-9 Cannonier and 29-28 Cannonier overall.
Official result: Jared Cannonier def. Ion Cutelaba by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Jake Ellenberger vs. Jorge Masvidal – Welterweights
Round 1: Masvidal caught an Ellenberger kick and they’re swinging with bad intentions. Ellenberger with a nice combination that rock the head of Masvidal. Oh but Masvidal is just tearing Ellenberger apart. Big body kick by Jorge. He is completely on all-out attack with punching combinations, left hooks to the body, some vicious uppercuts and knees and Ellenberger is hurt. Ellenberger is dropped and in trouble. Herb Dean was ready to stop it and then didn’t. Masvidal can’t get the finish and Ellenberger survives. Another caught kick and a straight left for Masvidal. Ellenberger with a little flurry and he scores with a counter left hand. Wheel kick by Masvidal! This is an action-packed brawl. Ellenberger rushes forward and goes for a knee, Masvidal with punches and it’s over! Or … what? It’s not over? Okay, so Ellenberger’s toes got caught in the fence, and he couldn’t get them out. Herb Dean called timeout. And after all of that confusion, the fight is indeed over. That was weird. I still don’t understand what happened. I’m guessing there will be an appeal because Ellenberger getting his toes stuck was completely an accident. This is bizarre.
Official result: Jorge Masvidal def. Jake Ellenberger via TKO (injury? punches?) at 4:05 of round 1
Joseph Benavidez vs. Henry Cejudo – Flyweights
Round 1: Good right hand by Benavidez after Cejudo got some strikes in. Big shot rocks Benavidez momentarily but it looks like he’s fine, for now. Cejudo looking real smooth with his striking early. Head kick by Cejudo. Left hook by Benavidez, who was hit in the groin at the same time. The fight resumes at the 3:37 mark or so. This is a fast-paced fight even by flyweight standards. Head kick by Benavidez. Cejudo with a body kick and then another groin kick. Yves Lavigne has taken a point away. That’s big, and also fairly justifiable. Good body kick by Cejudo, who has to be careful. Another nice left hook by Henry. Knee to the chest area by Cejudo. These guys are too fast for my hands to type. Might have had an accidental clash of heads. Counter right hand by Benavidez. Cejudo with the takedown but Benavidez scrambles to his feet and Cejudo loses control of the neck. Beautiful knee by Benavidez. Stepped into that excellently. Cejudo gets tagged upstairs with a head kick. Body shot by Cejudo. He changes levels but Benavidez stuffs the shot. Quick knee by Cejudo. Head kick by Benavidez and then Cejudo pushes Benavidez down. Man, what a round! 9-9 with Cejudo losing a point.
Round 2: Replays showed a left hook dropped Benavidez early in round 1. They waste no time going toe-to-toe in round 2. Wheel kick by Benavidez is not on target. Lightning fast right hands by Cejudo. Henry gets a little wild and misses wide with a right. Benavidez comes up short on a jab. Another failed wheel kick by Benavidez. Not sure why he’s going for those. Decent combination by Cejudo. Brutal knee in the clinch by Cejudo has split Benavidez’s lip. Cejudo with a quick body kick. Hard right hand by Benavidez tags Cejudo perfectly. Joe B presses forward. This is a hell of a fight. Cejudo is chasing a little bit here. Scores with a left hook. Body kick by Cejudo, who goes for a knee and gets countered upstairs. Benavidez lands his own knee to the body. Benavidez gets clipped with a left hand. Two body kicks by Benavidez, answered by a leg kick from Cejudo. Takedowns are an afterthought in this round, which is now over. Wow that was close. 10-9 Cejudo and 19-18 Cejudo overall.
Round 3: Left hook by Cejudo. Benavidez catches Cejudo with a combination. Single leg and then a trip by Cejudo. Benavidez just is so hard to hold down. Left hook by Benavidez. Right and a left by Cejudo both get through. Cejudo with a right to the body. He can’t complete the single. Benavidez with a pair of hard body shots. Lunging straight right by Benavidez. Good right hand by Cejudo. Uppercut is blocked and a right by Benavidez is partially blocked. This is too close to call. Cejudo pushing forward now with shots. Good body kick by Cejudo and then a quick flurry of punches by Benavidez. Great left hook by Benavidez snapped Cejudo’s head. Right hand and then a lovely slip to land the left by Benavidez. One minute left. Body kick by Cejudo. Nice knee to the body by Benavidez. And a harder one in retaliation by Cejudo! Another accidental headbutt. My goodness this is a back-and-forth battle. Both men trading HEAVY strikes and connecting. This is WAR! They are going all-out and both get in right hands to end a terrific contest. 10-9 Benavidez and 28-28 draw overall.
Official result: Joseph Benavidez def. Henry Cejudo by split decision (27-29, 30-26, 29-27)
Demetrious Johnson vs. Tim Elliott – UFC flyweight championship
Round 1: Elliott comes out aggressively and tags Johnson with a couple of punches, then gets taken down. Elliott does some clapboxing and now Johnson looks to be transitioning to an armbar but Elliott is strong and gets on top. A few ground strikes for Elliott and now he has a guillotine choke. It looks tight but he doesn’t have it. D’arce choke by Elliott! Whoa! Is there anything there? DJ gives the thumbs-up signal. Looks like it’s crisis averted. DJ is back to his feet and he head kicks Elliott then they exchange strikes. There’s now a scramble on the mat and DJ has a front headlock. Johnson still has the headlock on the way up and then gets popped with two punches. Elliott throwing everything he’s got. Tim ripping shots to the body. Left hand by Elliott may have dropped Johnson! If it wasn’t that then Johnson tried to go for a takedown at the same time he got it. Now Elliott with a takedown with 40 seconds left in the opening frame. He’s in half-guard. Ten seconds left and Elliott pushes his elbow down on Mighty Mouse. 10-9 Elliott
Round 2: Elliott with a sloppy left hand. Mighty Mouse with a big right hand. Body kick by the champ. Elliott with combinations but he gets taken down after DJ changes levels. Elliott has DJ’s neck for a moment but his head has popped out and he’s spun to the back. Johnson is trying to go for a rear-naked choke but Elliott defends. Johnson is still on top and mini-slamming Elliott. Side control now for the champion. Kimura attempt by DJ but Elliott gets to half-guard. Now Johnson is in side control again. He’s trying for the mounted crucifix and raining down punches. He loses the position but is still active and going for the left arm. Elliott with the thumbs-down signal. DJ uses the headlock to try and spin to the back. Elliott blocks that and Johnson is in Elliott’s guard. They’re on their feet. Elliott back-elbowing Johnson. Elliott is on top in the closing seconds after Johnson got him to the ground. The round ends. 10-9 Johnson and 19-19 overall.
Round 3: Hard leg kick by Mighty Mouse. Elliott still giving it all he’s got but not nearly at the pace he set in round 1. Mighty Mouse has Elliott’s back in a scramble. He’s going for a choke but Elliott escapes and Elliott has taken Johnson down. Sweep-a-palooza here by both men. Elliott swinging caveman strikes like a maniac. Now Johnson has Elliott on his back. Short right hands as Elliott has his right arm around Demetrious’ neck, purely for control. Johnson with more short punches. He gets to side control but Elliott counters by getting back into half-guard. Triangle attempt by Elliott that Johnson has to defend. Elliott with the palm strikes to the ears. These guys are talking to each other in the middle of the fight. DJ in side control. Elliott is making him work for everything. It’s still a Mighty Mouse rond. 10-9 DJ and 29-28 Johnson overall
Round 4: Johnson with a leg kick. And another one. Elliott with a left hand and he’s doing some karate stuff out there. Karate time is over because Johnson has taken him down easily here. It’s side control time again for the champion. Elliott in danger of giving up his back. He has given it up. Tim trying to stand up but Johnson drags him back down. He’s going for the rear-naked choke. Elliott will survive but he’s getting beaten up from side control and now taking shots from mounted crucifix, now back to side control after Tim gets his left arm free. Clap-boxing DJ’s ears isn’t the answer. Johnson is just a constant flow of offense and guard-passing. Johnson attacks with a straight armbar, now a kimura from side control. He’s transitioned to an armbar but Elliott excellently defends it. Spinning back kick by Elliott and then some cartwheel thing. What heart from Elliott, but he’s been outclassed. 10-9 DJ and 39-36 Johnson overall
Round 5: Body kick by Mighty Mouse. Elliott in a stance that’s almost Wonderboy-like. Great shot by Elliott and he takes Johnson down. Johnson scrambles and he may wind up on top. He does. Back into side control he goes, as was the theme in round 4. Herb Dean tells DJ to work from side control. I’ve no words for that. He’s now in Elliott’s closed guard and elbows the challenger, right after Herb Dean threatens to stand them up. Half-guard for Johnson. Victory seems imminent for the champion now. He’s isolating the left arm and elbowing Elliott at the same time. Now he lets go of the arm. They scramble and Elliott kimura sweeps DJ. Oh and Johnson nearly turned that into an armbar attempt of his own. He just missed it. Elliott is smiling, on his back with 30 seconds to go. He won’t get the win, but he will gain plenty of fans. Final seconds tick away and Johnson attacks Elliott’s left arm again, but the horn sounds. 10-9 DJ and 49-46 Johnson overall. That was a fun fight.
Official result: Demetrious Johnson def. Tim Elliott by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-45) to remain UFC flyweight champion
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