“Mighty Mouse” just couldn’t resist another opportunity to showcase his super strength.
Despite having already clinched a victory on the scorecard, Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson couldn’t ease up — a key attribute that has fueled his rise to the top of the flyweight division.
Johnson defended his UFC flyweight title with a fifth-round submission over the longer John Moraga during a live television event on Saturday night at KeyArena in Seattle.
The 26-year-old Washington High School alum and South Sound resident locked Moraga in an armbar hold — forcing the referee to call the fight — and record a submission stoppage, fairly rare in UFC history, while pushing his career mixed martial arts record to 18-2-1.
“Even though I was ahead on the scorecard, I’m never just relaxing and just trying to coast by,” Johnson said.
The bouncy Johnson shot up after the call, banging the floor of the octagon in celebration before launching into a flurry of spinning
kicks — much to the delight of the crowd of 7,816.
“He put himself in a dangerous position against a dangerous guy who knows he needs the knockout to win the fight, and he goes for the armbar,” UFC president Dana White said of Johnson.
Moraga, a former Arizona State University wrestler from Phoenix, held a reach advantage of three inches against Johnson, but “Mighty Mouse” never let his 5-foot-6 opponent get squared up for a solid shot, frustrating Moraga all night.
“He did a good job of controlling me,” Moraga said. “He had me in certain positions for longer than I needed to be.”
Midway through the fifth round, Johnson was a perfect 10-for-10 in takedowns, heavily utilizing his wrestling background.
“I’m just using my wresting to get into position to do the submission,” Johnson said. “Tonight it just so happened that the opportunity was there and I just capitalized on it.
“He does a good job of staying in a shell. When he tried to engage, I just tried to change my elevation and see what happens. The shot was there so I just took it. It worked out perfect tonight and I’m happy with it.”
White said recently he envisions a day when the flyweight division will headline a UFC pay-per-view event. Johnson’s performance Saturday night perhaps pushed that day a bit closer.
“He’s incredibly talented,” White said. “He’s fast, his takedowns are on point, and as good as he is, he couldn’t have fought a more perfect fight tonight.”
The live television event featured four main card bouts, with the Johnson-Moraga bout serving as the main event.