One of the only criticisms of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has been his inability to finish fights.
It took him awhile on Saturday night, but he put some of that talk to rest by submitting John Moraga in the main event of UFC on Fox 8 in Seattle to retain the belt.
The fifth-round armbar victory with just 1:17 left in the fight was the latest stoppage in UFC history. All four of Johnson’s previous UFC victories had gone the distance.
“It really wasn’t that important to me at all,” Johnson said of not letting the fight get to the judges. “I’m here to fight and if the finish comes to me, I’m going to take it.”
He was in firm control of the fight even without the submission. Johnson took down Moraga 11 times and was on his way to yet another decision victory.
The impressive performance far overshadowed the disappointment of the penultimate bout of the card.
After spending the last three months tweeting about how badly he was going to beat Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger barely caused MacDonald to break a sweat.
MacDonald kept Ellenberger at a distance with the occasional left jab and Ellenberger was never able to get inside. He did finally get a takedown late in the third round, but it was much too little, much too late as MacDonald earned the decision and his fifth straight win.
“I obviously look to finish fights, but he’s a good fighter, so what can you do? I think I had him worried with the elbows because he didn’t want to come near me after that,” MacDonald said. “That wasn’t my game plan, but I accomplished what I needed to do. I think I’m a better fighter than him. “
Liz Carmouche earned her first UFC victory with a second-round stoppage of Jessica Andrade in a women’s bantamweight bout.
Carmouche survived a deep guillotine attempt late in the opening round, then immediately took Andrade down to start the second. Carmouche quickly worked to the mount and pounded Andrade with punches and elbows for more than two minutes until the referee Herb Dean finally stepped in to stop the abuse.
Also, Robbie Lawler knocked out Bobby Voelker with a head kick just 24 seconds into the second round of a welterweight bout.
The preliminary card was highlighted by Melvin Guillard’s second-round knockout of Mac Danzig. Guillard, 30, looked more like the fighter who had won five fights in a row in 2010 and 2011 than the one who had lost four of his last five since.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.