AFTER THE SCORING debacle of their first fight in Sydney last March, Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall will face off in the semi-final of the UFC’s flyweight tournament tonight and one thing is for sure, there will definitely be a winner this time around.
Johnson was wrongly called the winner of their first fight due to a judge’s error and while the result was quickly changed, correctly, to a majority draw, it remains one of the more embarrassing moments of Dana White’s tenure.
This matchup tops the bill on an exciting, if not stellar, card that also includes the likes of Charlie Brenneman, Mike Pyle and Eddie Wineland as the UFC continues its mainstream assault on FOX’s FX channel.
Winner gets a shot at Benavidez for flyweight belt
Their last fight was one of the closest and most exciting fights of the year and it wasn’t really a shock when the amended result was given as a draw. There will definitely be a winner this time as the bout is scheduled for three three-minute rounds as well as a sudden death round, as seen on The Ultimate Fighter, if it is a draw.
In the first fight, “Mighty Mouse” (Johnson) seemed to have the advantage on the feet while “Uncle Creepy” was the more comfortable in the clinch and on the ground. Their last fight ended with McCall on top, raining down punches on a somewhat helpless Johnson and that must be the route to follow if McCall is to secure the victory.
Johnson was just that bit quicker on the feet, often beating McCall to the punch, so expect the old-school moustachioed one to look to get the fight to the ground as soon as possible. The high-energy approach of Johnson could make that difficult, so this bout could be every bit as close and tactical as the first.
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In the evening’s other main attraction, Charlie Brenneman will look to do what he does best, grind out a result, when he faces dangerous Brazilian Eric Silva. Silva looked to be on his way to the second KO victory of his UFC career as he pounced on Carlo Prater recently only to be disqualified for punches to the back of the head.
It was a display of inexperience more than malice and didn’t diminish the quality of his performance and his fight with Brenneman can go one of two ways. Brenneman will look to drag the fight to the ground and take Silva deep into the third round, just like he has done in all four of his UFC wins or, if Silva can get to the punch first, it could be lights out for the American.
Best of the rest
Eddie Wineland is still looking for his first UFC win but you have to take into account that his first two fights in the organisation were against Joseph Benavidez and Urijah Faber and neither managed to finish him.
Scott Jorgensen looked to be on a hot streak before losing a unanimous decision against Renan Barao last time out, so both men have a lot on the line here. Expect a fast paced fight with plenty of movement, especially from Jorgensen, as he looks to put Wineland 0-3 in the UFC.
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Josh Neer and Mike Pyle kick off things on the main card and the two veterans have put fighters such as Jon Fitch, Melvin Guillard and Joe Stevenson to the sword in their early careers. Neither man is famed for their KO power so a long, grinding fight could be on the cards here.
Whoever can gain control on the ground should take the win.