The co-main event at UFC 227 was as close as fights come and it almost ended before it even began. Henry Cejudo rolled his ankle very early in the first round against Demetrious Johnson.
After a back and forth battle, the judges’ scorecards were read and Bruce Buffer declared a new champion via split decision. I had the fight 48-47 for the former champion and one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, “Mighty Mouse.”
But you don’t want to hear my opinion – when a fight is as close as this one was, I like to get the media’s perspective on the bout.
Check out the way some members of the media scored the bout below.
Media POV: Cejudo vs. Johnson
Eric Kowal (MyMMANews.com) – To be the man…. you have to beat the man. I scored that a draw.
Flyin’ Brian Jeffries (MMAMania.com) – 48-47 Cejudo. I have him 2,4,5. I thought the judges would favor the takedown and control late in round two. I believe that to be the swing round. Johnson hadn’t done enough prior to the control to solidify the round.
Mookie Alexander (BloodyElbow.com) – 48-47 Johnson. Cejudo fared a lot better than expected but he got graded on a curve, including the takedowns with minimal damage. And Johnson outstruck him.
James Lynch (Every website known to man) – 48-47 Johnson. I thought he did more in the 5th round with his striking as opposed to the takedown Cejudo got.
Nick Baldwin (BloodyElbow.com) – I scored the fight for Demetrious Johnson, but a Henry Cejudo scorecard is not something I can argue. The fight was ridiculously close, and even on the feet, Cejudo was competitive in all five rounds. On the ground, the Olympic gold medalist did his best work, and the scorecards come down to how much you weigh Cejudo’s top control. The judges thought more of it than I did, apparently, as I scored it 48-47 for the now-former champ.
Damon Martin (UFC.com) – 48-47 for Demetrious but it was a battle and I’ve got no problem with the final decision. It really came down to that fifth round in my mind.
Michael Hutchinson (BloodyElbow.com) – I had it the way it was scored for Cejudo, 48-47. While Johnson landed the more significant strikes (leg and body kicks) Cejudo was able to avoid both of those in the 2nd, 4th and 5th rounds and control Johnson on the ground, while limiting his striking on the feet. The 5th round especially, you could see Mighty Mouse hesitate to engage knowing that Cejudo could get a takedown and win the fight.
Sean Sheehan (SevereMMA.com) – I had it 49-46. DJ clearly won 1 & 3 without explanation. 2nd was close, because the striking was close, but Henry didn’t do enough on the ground to win it for me. The 4th was all DJ for 3mins, Henry did next to nothing on the ground, 4th clear for DJ. 5th very close again but I scored it for Henry. Thought he landed the harder shots late.
Nolan King (MMATodayNews.com) – I had it 48-47 for Demetrious Johnson, but I certainly can’t be mad at that decision. Rounds 2 and 5 were the closest for me to judge. Both toss ups in a sense. I ended up giving DJ 1,3,5. Henry I gave 2,4. I’ll have to give it a second watch.
Jason Burgos (Sherdog.com) – I thought DJ won. I agree with the second judge, 47-48. And I felt it was clear, Cejudo needed a finish in the fifth after wiining the fourth. The frustrating thing about American MMA judging is takedowns are scored WAY too high sometimes. DJ in the first 3 rounds was clearly the better striker and in the fourth as well. But Cejudo got takedowns in the early rounds where it was him literally holding him down and doing no damage because he knew if he made space DJ would scramble away. Which he did. A takedown scores points, no doubt. But a hold down for 45 seconds or less with no damage does not win rounds for me.
Spencer Kyte (Sports Illustrated) – 48-47 DJ
It was a close fight, but I thought DJ did more in the final round to salt away the victory. The leg kicks were a big factor throughout and if you watch it back, Cejudo had long periods of inactivity. There wasn’t enough on those brief takedown attempts and scrambles to award him the round, not given everything else that happened.
I actually want to watch the whole fight back and score it again, without the sound on, because I think you could probably make a case for 4-1 DJ, giving him every round except the second, but that’s a project for next week.
Lucas Grandsire (FloCombat.com) – Sure thing. I had it scored 48-47 for Might Mouse, I thought he did a better job dictating the fight and landed the better shots in the first three rounds. I had Cejudo winning the last two rounds, his flurry’s when MM was going for kicks as well as his wrestling made it clear for me the last two rounds were his.
Jed Meshew (MMAFighting.com) – I scored it 48-47 DJ. felt like the judges overvalued some of Cejjudo’s work just because he was expected to be outclassed.
Marc Raimondi (MMAFighting.com) – I had it 3-2 Johnson, but I’d really have to go back and look. I felt like DJ did more damage in the fourth on first watch.
Media in favor of Cejudo: 2
Media in favor of Johnson:13