The “little” guys, or flyweights, rarely get top billing in an MMA bout, but that’s the case for Friday night.
Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall face off for the second time in just a few months in UFC on FX 3 free television card at the BankAtlantic Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Johnson and McCall battled in the semifinals of the UFC’s four-man flyweight tournament back in March at UFC on FX 2 in Sydney, Australia, and it had one of the more unusual endings in the organization’s history. The fight was initially declared a split-decision win for “Mighty Mouse” Johnson by scores of 28-29, 29-28 and 29-28.
Johnson was declared the majority-decision victor via 29-28, 29-29 and 29-28 scores. However, after the event, the Combat Sports Authority of New South Wales uncovered an error in the tabulation of the judges’ scorecards. One judge had scored the final round 10-8, which was overlooked during tabulations. So the final scores were 28-28, 29-29, 29-28 (Johnson got the 29-28 score).
Had the mistake been caught in time, Johnson and McCall would have fought a deciding sudden-death fourth round. Instead, UFC president Dana White announced plans for an immediate rematch during the post-fight press conference.
Thus, Friday’s winner will fight against the other tournament finalist, Joseph Benavidez, to crown UFC’s inaugural flyweight champion later this year. Benavidez advanced in the draw by routing Yasuhiro Urushitani at UFC on FX 2, knocking out Urushitani just 11 seconds into Round 2.
Johnson (14-2-1) hasn’t won in three fights. He had a four-fight winning streak snapped at UFC Live 6 last October when Dominick Cruz outpointed him in an attempt to win the UFC bantamweight title.
McCall (11-2-1), whose “Uncle Creepy” nickname has to be among the best in sports, had won four fights in a row to win the Tachi Palace Fights flyweight championship prior to joining the UFC’s new division for the Johnson bout.
Currently, Johnson is the -155 favorite at the book with McCall at +125. Only five of Johnson’s fights have gone to a decision, while only four of McCall’s have.
Meanwhile, also on the card is a welterweight bout between rising Erick Silva and Charlie Brenneman. Silva (13-2) technically hasn’t been beaten in his last 10 fights. But in his second UFC fight in January at UFC 142, Silva was dominating Carlo Prater early and appeared to finish Prater off. However, the referee controversially revealed after the contest that Silva had been disqualified for landing strikes to the back of Prater’s head. The 27-year-old Silva is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with unorthodox striking skills. Only three of Silva’s fights have gone to decision.
Brenneman (15-3) really made his name in UFC last June at UFC Live 4 when he upset Rick Story via unanimous decision with just 24 hours’ notice before the bout. Brenneman followed that with a loss to Anthony Johnson at UFC Live 6, but is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Roberts in January. The 31-year-old “Spaniard” holds seven of his 15 victories by knockout or submission, but has yet to earn a stoppage during his UFC tenure.
Silva is the current -175 favorite at the book and taking the large majority of action, with Brenneman +145.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@MightyMouseUFC