TUF 24 Finale: Demetrious Johnson decisions gritty Elliott for 9th straight title defence
But, it was a much harder win than most anyone envisioned.
Elliott used angles, wrestling and cardio to make Johnson work for most of the bout, even arguably taking the first round with a guillotine attempt and wobbling Johnson later with a strike.
Johnson, hover, proved more than equal to the challenge, using leg kicks, strikes and grappling to “neutralize” Elliott over the last four rounds.
The judges scored it, 49-46, 49-46, and 49-45.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Jared Cannpnier and Ion Cutelaba earned Fight-of-the-Night honours, while Sara McMann and Anthony Smith earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
TUF 24 FINALE
JOSHUA STANSBURY VS DEVIN CLARK
WINNER: DEVIN CLARK VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOSHUA STANSBURY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Clark just outworked Stansbury and wore him down. Good win for Clark, he overcame the UFC jitters and got the win.
ELVIS MUTAPCIC VS ANTHONY SMITH
WINNER: ANTHONY SMITH VIA TKO R2 3:27
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANTHONY SMITH VIA TKO
Andrews: Once Smith established his range, he went for the kill, while Mutapcic did land a nice kick, had trouble locating the bigger Smith. Good win for Smith, giant step for finishers everywhere.
KAILIN CURRAN VS JAMIE MOYLE
WINNER: JAMIE MOYLE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAMIE MOYLE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Moyle used her grappling to overcome a cut over her left eye from Curran and getting a slam of her own. Very smart of her to get the fight to the ground, as Curran was doing well in the standup.
DONG HYUN KIM VS BRENDAN O’REILLY
WINNER: DONG HYUN KIM VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DONG HYUN KIM VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: I thought O’Reilly would fare better on the feet, but Kim just out-grappled him for most of the fight. Give Km credit, he went out there and grinded out the win.
ROB FONT VS MATT SCHNELL
WINNER: ROB FONT VIA TKO R1 3:47
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MATT SCHNELL VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Font put the pressure on Schnell initially, which Schnell handled well, but just got caught with a big shot. Excellent win for Font, we expected this against Lineker.
GRAY MAYNARD VS RYAN HALL
WINNER: RYAN HALL VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
ANDREWS PREDICTION: GRAY MAYNARD VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: A boring fight, but the frustration got to Maynard, as he got peppered with outside kicks, but couldn’t get in to use his wrestling. Bring in a BJJ guy for his next fight.
#12 BRANDON MORENO VS RYAN BENOIT
WINNER: BRANDON MORENO VIA SPLIT DECISION (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRANDON MORENO VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Hall proved to be a tough cookie knocking down Moreno, but Moreno still dictated most of the fight with the takedowns and aggression. Great come-from-behind win.
#7 SARA MCMANN VS ALEXIS DAVIS
WINNER:SARA MCMANN VIA SUBMISSION R2 2:52
ANDREWS PREDICTION: SARA MCMANN VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Davis is a beast on the ground, but the toughness of McMann shone through and we saw some improvements, including the arm triangle finish. Great win for McMann.
ION CUTELABA VS JARED CANNONIER
WINNER: JARON CANNONIER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JARON CANNONIER VIA TKO
Andrews: Cannonier’s ability to get up the floor quickly saved him. And then in the second and third rounds, some timely offence saved him too.
#15 JAKE ELLENBERGER VS JORGE MASVIDAL
WINNER: JORGE MASVIDAL VIA TKO R1 4:05
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JORGE MASVIDAL VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: This was odd. Ellenberger is still on the bubble, but he should not be cut over this. The ref not realizing Ellenberger’s toe was caught in the octagon was the problem here. Let them do it again.
#1 JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS #2 HENRY CEJUDO
WINNER: JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VIA SPLIT-DECISION (27-29, 30-26, 29-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Great fight, and I liked the aggressiveness of Cejudo throughout the fight, but his cardio wasn’t quite to the level of Benavidez, who dictated most of the action. He lost the point for the low blow, but Cejudo even though he lost gained some respect and fans after that performance.
DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VS TIM ELLIOTT
WINNER: DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (49-46, 49-46, 49-45)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Elliott gave Mighty Mouse a run for his money, but Johnson is just too good. Just another brilliant response to a great performance from a TUF 24 winner looking to shock the world at his expense. Will Johnson fight Cruz once he breaks Anderson Silva’s title defence record?