UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson successfully tied Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive UFC title defences when he became the first man to submit Wilson Reis at UFC on Fox 24 in his tenth defence since becoming the division’s champion in 2012.
UFC on Fox 24 took place at the Sprint Centre in Kansas City, Missouri and was the promotion’s first ever trip to the city, which was later revealed to be a big success, as they broke the arena’s attendance record according to UFC President Dana White. The event would also see Rose Namajunas continue her rise back up the strawweight ladder with a win over Michelle Waterson and Robert Whittaker would scored a stunning upset TKO victory over top middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
Johnson makes history in Flyweight title main event
In the main event, Johnson (26-2-1) continued to stake his claim for consideration as one of the greatest of all time with a vintage performance against Brazilian BJJ black belt Reis (22-7). From the get-go, Johnson peppered his opponent with strikes whilst avoiding everything coming back his way and Reis was simply chasing shadows in the first round. Despite landing a few takedowns, the Alliance MMA product could do nothing with it as Johnson popped straight back up.
The second round saw Reis slow down considerably after the body shots of the champion took their toll and “DJ” would nearly take the fight at the conclusion of the second frame when he dropped his tired challenger with a knee to the body and almost got the stoppage with hammerfists.
A visibly beaten challenger came out of his corner for round 3 looking like all the wind had left the sails of Reis. Sensing this, Johnson came out aggressive and didn’t hold back as he landed heavy shots to the Brazilian and took him to the ground with a guillotine attempt. From there, it was all she wrote as Johnson would use elbows for ground and pound before claiming the mount and locking in the armbar for the win.
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An incredible performance on a historic night for “Mighty Mouse”, he can now truly lay claim to his title of most dominant champion of all time and possibly achieve GOAT status with one more title defence after tying Anderson Silva’s record of ten consecutive title defences. He also became the first person to submit BJJ expert Reis on his way to his sixth finish in his ten defences.
Namajunas stakes her claim for strawweight title shot with win over Waterson
Elsewhere, Rose Namajunas (6-3) would complete her recovery from last year’s loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz when she defeated former Invicta FC champion Michelle Waterson (14-5) via a rear-naked choke to put herself firmly in contention for a shot at the UFC Womens Strawweight title.
The first round was a tentative one with both fighters trading top position throughout however in the second, Namajunas would start to implement her striking game and caused Waterson all sorts of trouble when she dropped her with a vicious headkick, only for “The Karate Hottie” to scramble to her feet despite Namajunas attempts to finish.
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The finish wasn’t far away though as “Thug” Namajunas found her opening and would lock in a rear-naked choke on the game Waterson who was left with no choice but to tap halfway through round two.
Namajunas will now surely find herself back to in contention for the strawweight title after four wins in her last five bouts whereas Waterson had a two-fight win streak snapped with this defeat.
Whittaker pulls off on of this years big upsets with TKO victory over “Jacare”
Meanwhile, rising middleweight challenger Robert Whittaker (18-4) caused somewhat of an upset when he took out top divisional contender “Jacare” Souza (24-5) by playing to his strengths and keeping the fight on the feet before getting the second round TKO stoppage.
New Zealand born Whittaker was successful in stuffing the takedowns of his experienced BJJ black belt opponent and that was the key to the fight. Souza could not get hold of Whittaker who had already dropped him twice previous to the finish of the fight in the second round.
The ending came when Whittaker landed a vicious headkick which once again dropped Souza as referee Mario Yamasaki rushed in to save the bloodied Brazilian from further punishment.
Also on the card, Jeremy Stevens (25-14) featherweight slide continues as he lost his third bout in his last four to the undefeated Renato Carneiro (11-0-1) via a split decision. In a back-and-forth fight, the American just did not do enough to justify another outcome and was outclassed in all areas by his Brazilian counterpart.
On the preliminary portion of the card, French rising star Tom Duquesnoy enjoyed a successful UFC debut when he took out Patrick Williams with hard elbows for a second round TKO victory and Tim Elliott and Louis Smolka would put on a delightful grappling masterclass with 15 minutes of pure grappling. Elliott would prove dominant throughout although it was a joy to watch for many fans and was awarded “Fight of the Night” honors.
UFC on Fox 24 Full Results
Flyweight Title: Demetrious Johnson def. Wilson Reis via Submission (Armbar) (Round 3 – 4:49)
Womens Strawweight: Rose Namajunas def. Michelle Waterson via Submission (Rear-naked choke) (Round 2 – 2:47)
Middleweight: Robert Whittaker def. Ronaldo Souza via TKO (Punches) (Round 2 – 3:28)
Featherweight: Renato Moicano def. Jeremy Stephens via Decision (Split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Heavyweight: Alexander Volkov def. Roy Nelson via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Bantamweight: Tom Duquesnoy def. Patrick Williams via TKO (Elbows) (Round 2 – 0:28)
Lightweight: Rashid Magomedov def. Bobby Green via Decision (Split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Flyweight: Tim Elliott def. Louis Smolka via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling def. Augusto Mendes via Decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Light-Heavyweight: Devin Clark def. Jake Collier via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Middleweight: Anthony Smith def. Andrew Sanchez via KO (Knee) (Round 3 – 3:52)
Welterweight: Zak Cummings def. Nathan Coy via Submission (Guillotine) (Round 1 – 4:21)
Womens Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieira def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via Decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-28,30-27)