UFC: Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson KO's Joseph Benavidez in California
By James Dielhenn - @jamesdielhenn. Last Updated: 15/12/13 2:28pm
Demetrious Johnson: Retained his flyweight championship
Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson demonstrated a new weapon in his already dominant skillset by emphatically knocking out Joseph Benavidez to retain his flyweight championship for the third time Saturday night.
Johnson, not previously associated with one punch finishing power, landed a right hook after 2:08 of the first round to put his opponent to sleep and assert his position as one of the UFC's pound-for-pound elite.
This was a rematch from September 2012 when a split decision ruled Johnson to be the inaugural 125-pound champion and despite Benavidez's subsequent improvement, the gap hadn't been closed enough.
Johnson's first seven UFC fights were decided by judges' scorecards and a lack of decisive wins was the his only criticism but after submitting John Moraga and now finishing Benavidez, that flaw has been addressed with aplomb.
His only issue in the future may be finding realistic challengers to his belt after he has defeated Benavidez, by all accounts the second best in the world, twice.
Johnson's victory was all the more impressive given that his challenger had the hometown advantage in Sacramento, California.
Much had been made of Benavidez's training with coach Duane Ludwig to improve his already intimidating punching power but he was unable to land anything on the speedy, elusive champion.
After last night's Knockout of the Night, the quickest KO in the short history of the flyweight division, Johnson can make a realistic claim to be the UFC's most dominant champion.
Earlier in the night, Urijah Faber steamrolled Michael McDonald en route to a submission win. Chad Mendes and Joe Lauzon won unanimous decisions over Nik Lentz and Mac Danzig, respectively.