It was the debacle that ruined the UFC’s inaugural Flyweight tournament that went down on March 3rd’s UFC on FX2 event. The UFC had launched a tournament in the new 125 lb Flyweight class, but the controversy surrounding the Ian McCall – Demetrious Johnson bout would send the tournament into disarray. The Australian officials botched the math on the judges scorecards, announcing a win for Johnson that was later ‘corrected’ to be a draw. With the time it took to correct the error, the fighters had been in post fight mode, and the UFC was unable to invoke the contracted 4th round in case of a draw. The UFC has moved on, announcing a rematch between Johnson and Mccall for the ‘TUF 15′ Season Finale show on June 3rd in Las Vegas.
Don’t let the official’s error fool you about this fight – it was a hard fought, solid bout that I could see being a draw after 3 rounds. So it is a good bet that the rematch will be more of the same. Johnson was a favorite going into the first fight, but McCall’s performance may likely close the odds a bit when they are released.
McCall put on a very solid performance, and he has maintained a high caliber of competition despite the draw being his first fight in the UFC. Both fighters have unanimous decision losses to 135 lb titlist Dominick Cruz, and both clearly feel they are championship material in the new weight class. But Johnson, who has fought bigger opponents his whole career, still seems a bit small. Both men have had a tendency to extend their fights and to win decisions. I’m looking at this fight as a pick ‘em, and I am going to pick McCall in the rematch, despite having gone with Johnson in the first bout.
Meanwhile waiting in the wings is Joseph Benavides, who did not leave it to the judges as he took out Japan’s Yasuhiro Urishitani on the other side of the bracket. Benavides will likely be installed as the favorite against either McCall or Johnson, hopefully the final match of the UFC Flyweight tournament goes down in the August or September timeframe.
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