UFC 227: Dillashaw Retains, Johnson’s Reign Ends

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TJ Dillashaw finished Cody Garbrandt off quicker than their first fight, as he successfully retained the UFC Bantamweight Title in the main event of UFC 227 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. And in the co-main event of the evening, the legendary reign of Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson came to an end with a split decision loss in a widely-praised fight with Henry Cejudo.

Both men were hesitant to throw to start off the fight, but early on in the exchanging, both men were simultaneously rocked, as Dillashaw ate a right and Garbrandt was hit with a counterpunch. About a minute later, and Dillashaw caught Garbrandt, who was loading up for a punch with a quick strike that sent the challenger crashing to the canvas. Garbrandt defended well early on by holding Dillashaw’s hand. While they reset with just 90 seconds left, Dillashaw rocked Garbrandt again with a right, swarming him with multiple shots, as well as a knee, before referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight.

A weird and concerning moment happened early on in the flyweight title match, as Cejudo appeared to roll his ankle, though he would remain fine and fight a full five rounds. Throughout the first round, Johnson played to his range, avoiding most that Cejudo was throwing at him. Johnson got back to work in the second, but Cejudo managed to hold his own while the two were close in range. Cejudo failed to get Johnson down on his back twice, but he succeeded the third time, causing shock throughout the MMA community. Cejudo maintains top position for the rest of the round.

Johnson regained control in the third round, completely outstriking Cejudo, particularly with kicks and knees, and stopping just about anything that Cejudo could throw at him. Even when Cejudo landed his second takedown late in the round, Mighty Mouse was quick to get to his feet. But in the fourth, despite hurting Cejudo with more kicks to the leg and body, Cejudo scored a third takedown with about two minutes to go. His offense was limited, but transitioning and remaining in top game earned Cejudo a lot of praise.

Cejudo controlled the Octagon to start the fifth, where each fighter rocked the other at one point. But ultimately, one more takedown and a small flurry in the closing seconds that rocked Johnson seemed to give Cejudo the nod.

While one judge scored the bout in Johnson’s favor 48-47, the other two scored it 48-47 for Cejudo, pulling off the upset and ending Johnson’s legendary consecutive title defense streak, as well as Mighty Mouse’s 13-fight win streak.

As for the rest of the card, Renato Moicano pulled off a first-round submission victory over Cub Swanson to move up in the feather ranks, while JJ Aldrich scored a decision over Polyana Viana and Thiago Santos defeated Kevin Holland, who was making his UFC debut, in an entertaining opener.

UFC 227 Main Card Results:
UFC Bantamweight Championship: (c.) TJ Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:10)
UFC Flyweight Championship: Henry Cejudo def. (c.) Demetrious Johnson via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Featherweight: Renato Moicano def. Cub Swanson via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 4:15)
Women’s Strawweight: JJ Aldrich def. Polyana Viana via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Middleweight: Thiago Santos def. Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-26)

UFC 227 Preliminary Card Results:
Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz def. Brett Johns via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-27)
Bantamweight: Ricky Simon def. Montel Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Bantamweight: Ricardo Ramos def. Kyung Ho Kang via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Featherweight: Sheymon Moraes def. Matt Sayles via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 227 Early Preliminary Card Results:
Flyweight: Alex Perez def. Jose Torres via KO (Rd. 1, 3:36)
Women’s Strawweight: Zhang Weili def. Danielle Taylor via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bantamweight: Marlon Vera def. Wuliji Buren via TKO (Rd. 2, 4:53)

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