The Sunday Aftermath – UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi


As the old saying goes, sport isn’t played on paper and that point was really hit home on Saturday night as the much criticized UFC 186 turned out to be a rather enjoyable night of mixed martial arts with submissions, knockouts and close fights littered throughout.

Majestic Mighty Mouse

In the main event, the lightest men’s UFC title was up for grabs as the first and only flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson took on the much maligned challenger Kyoji Horiguchi. Unsurprisingly it was a rapid and wild start. Horiguchi was the first to strike with a couple of body kicks while Johnson landed an early leg kick. Horiguchi looked extremely calm and caught Johnson with two counter right hands before perfectly stuffing a takedown when DJ caught a leg from a body kick. From that point on Johnson upped the pressure and Horiguchi just couldn’t escape as he was put against the fence and taken down. He did manage to get back to his feet though and landed a neatly timed leg and body kick before the extremely close round finished.

Johnson went on the attack again to start the second but ate a knee to the body as he came in before being taken down. He was able to get back up quickly though and got a takedown of his own as Horiguchi couldn’t keep out of his clutches. Johnson was finally able to get some control on the floor but Horiguchi struggled out although he was put down twice more before he could establish any attacking rhythm. With a minute on the clock, Horiguchi did manage to get free and broke away but Johnson took him down yet again just as the frame finished.

Two kicks, one to the leg and one to the body, from Johnson kicked off the third round. The American quickly followed that with a couple of takedown attempts, the second of which saw Horiguchi put on the floor. As always, he was able to escape and landed a left hook on the break before a kick to the body from DJ set up a double leg in the middle of the cage. A pass into half guard from Johnson and then a move side control had Kyoji on the back foot but he didn’t do a great deal of damage from the advantageous position. Eventually, though, Johnson did get a mounted crucifix and put a few strikes on Horiguchi but it was too late in the round for any real fight ending move.

A body kick from Johnson started the championship rounds as Horiguchi seemed set to up his attacking output. A punch combination, though, did nothing but get him tied up with DJ who was happy to keep a hold of him and follow him around the cage without needing to take any real chances. When they eventually separated, Horiguchi looked extremely tired and got attacked with knees and kicks to the body before Johnson stuffed a late takedown try in a fight he was absolutely dominating.

The fifth round saw Johnson get the takedown within ten seconds. When it hit the floor, Horiguchi was able to use his legs to stop the momentum briefly but DJ quickly escaped and passed into side control. From Horiguchi’s exodus plan Johnson took the back before letting him out and taking him down again. Johnson tried hard for a kimura immediately but Horiguchi defended well although he could do nothing to stop Mighty Mouse from mounting him late on. From there Johnson took the back after a few seconds in side control but Horiguchi escaped again. Another takedown came with 30 seconds left and that looked to be the clincher but Johnson wasn’t happy to just see it out. The champion expertly transitioned to the crucifix again and, with less than five seconds left, he jumped across, grabbed onto an arm and extended it, forcing Horiguchi to tap out in the very last second – making it the latest stoppage in UFC history. Simply put, it was a magnificent performance from a truly special fighter. The only problem now is finding someone worthy of challenging him.

Rampage returns

The co-main event also featured a one-time UFC belt holder as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson faced Fabio Maldonado after the Bellator injunction preventing him from fighting was lifted by a New Jersey judge midweek. As we hoped, it was hot and heavy from the off. Rampage immediately took the centre of the Octagon and had Maldonado going backwards as he jabbed his way into range. Maldonado tried to push him back but Rampage quickly turned and caught him with a counter before throwing another big right hand against the fence. A short controlled cage clinch by Jackson ended with him landing a beautiful combination which made Fabio retreat. The jab from Maldonado then briefly found a home on the chin but Rampage wasn’t perturbed and had the Brazilian hurt against the fence with a series of hooks before a head kick from Jackson late in the round barely missed.

An early muay thai clinch in the second saw Rampage land with a few hard uppercuts before Maldonado pushed him into the cage and got some octagonal control. From the break, Jackson pounded the body and head with hard hooks as Maldonado signaled for him to come forward even more. Again, though, Maldonado engaged the clinch in an attempt to wear Jackson out and attacked his body with strikes before and after they separated. An uppercut, left hook combination from Rampage late in the round had Fabio backed up but the Brazilian recovered and took him down at the bell.

A hard jab from Maldonado opened up the third but a leg kick followed by a right hand and beautiful body shot from Rampage handed him back the initiative. Head movement from the former UFC light heavyweight champion was a real feature of the mid section of the round as Maldonado threw a lot of unsuccessful strikes while Rampage landed his counters. Three strikes to the body with two minutes left on the clock followed by a knee to the body forced Maldonado to engage the clinch again but Rampage was able to escape and elbowed the Brazilian on the head before a series of parting head shots made the judges’ job an easy one and Rampage took the unanimous decision.

Bisping Bounces Back

Before Rampage vs. Maldonado was put back in as co-feature, Michael Bisping vs. CB Dolloway was due to fill its position and would, in the end, have been a worthy replacement. The fight started, unusually, at long range with Bisping pumping in a jab and Dolloway kicking the leg from the outside. Although Dolloway took the centre of the cage, it was Bisping who initiated most attacks although the exchanges were pretty even early om.  The first takedown attempt naturally came from Dolloway and it was easily stuffed by the Brit. That seemed to give Bisping some confidence as he followed it up with a series of combination attacks which got through the guard of the American. Dolloway, on the other hand, was loading up with his hooks and missed most of those shots until he landed two huge chin seekers late on the round which had Bisping badly hurt as he did well to survive to the bell.

Despite eating late damage in the first, Bisping came out attacking immediately in the second and had plenty of success with his combinations as Dolloway again threw predominantly big bombs. As the round progressed, Bisping became a little more careful which led to a Dolloway takedown attempt which was again stuffed. The jab and body kick became a real weapon for Bisping midway through the round as he rocked Dolloway momentarily before “The Doberman” got a very late takedown.

A left hook from Dolloway kicked off the third and was immediately answered by a right hand from his opponent. A brief takedown from Dolloway followed that but Bisping got back to his feet without too much damage being done. On the feet, they again exchanged big shots but it was Bisping who looked the fresher and got the better of the exchanges. A high kick from Bisping midway through the round was the start of the increase in his output which saw the leg of Dolloway eat 10 or so kicks. Dolloway kept throwing the big shots but Bisping was smart too it and when he stopped a final late takedown and punished Dolloway with strikes – the fight was pretty much done. The judges’ decision was a pretty straightforward one and put Bisping back on the winning track with 29-28s across the board.

Ais The Bash Outpointed

There was also big Irish interest in the card as #10 ranked women’s strawweight in the world Aisling Daly opened the card against #6 ranked Canadian Randa Markos in a fight with possible title implications. It was Markos who started the better and landed the bigger strikes as Daly took time to settle. A trip attempt from Daly saw Markos put on the ground midway through the first round but the Canadian brilliantly reversed it to take the back before transitioning to top position and eventually into an arm triangle choke. Daly did well to survive and got back to her feet before securing a takedown as the bell sounded.

The second stanza was a much different affair. Daly, by now settled into the fight, took the initiative and pushed Markos against the cage before getting the fight to the floor. Markos landed a fair share of damage from a headlock when they first went south but Daly managed to escape and got on top after another takedown following a brief moment on the feet.  From there Daly landed some big damage on Markos, cutting her open with an elbow, and was working on freeing an arm as the round ended.

The third round was probably the closest of the three as Daly came out again and looked to be the fresher fighter. To her credit, Markos never gave up and again managed to get a headlock from a Daly trip attempt after a long battle against the cage. This time she was able to secure the position better and landed a number of punches to Daly before ending up in mount from a scramble. Daly didn’t give up for a second and with the time ticking down found herself with Markos attacking an arm from the spiderweb as Daly attempted to escape. In the end, Daly did extremely well to survive the submission attempts but nevertheless lost the unanimous decision after a wonderful scrap. With the win Markos gives herself a real chance at being a contender in the near future while it might take a little longer for Daly to build her way back up.

Elsewhere on the card there were impressive wins from must-watch prospect Thomas Almeida, John Makdessi and Chad Laprise while Alexis Davis finally got a win over Sarah Kaufman on the third time of asking with an armbar submission in the second round of their enthralling bantamweight scrap.


Demetrious Johnson def. Kyoji Horiguchi vis submission (armbar) – R5, 24:59
Quinton Jackson def. Fabio Maldonado via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Michael Bisping def. C.B. Dollawayv via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
John Makdessi def. Shane Campbell via TKO – R1, 4:53
Thomas Almeida def. Yves Jabouin via TKO – R1, 4:18

Patrick Cote def. Joe Riggs via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexis Davis def. Sarah Kaufman via submission (armbar) – R2, 1:52
Chad Laprise def. Bryan Barberena via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. David Michaud via submission (rear-naked choke) – R3, 3:24

Nordine Taleb def. Chris Clements via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Valerie Letourneau def. Jessica Rakoczy via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Randa Markos def. Aisling Daly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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