Arguably the greatest champion in UFC history has finally been dethroned 1 year ago

Arguably the greatest champion in UFC history has finally been dethroned

Demetrious Johnson's storied reign as UFC flyweight king has come to an end.

Two years ago, Demetrious Johnson handed Henry Cejudo the first loss of his professional career. 'Mighty Mouse' handed the Olympic gold medalist a humbling loss that he would never forget in UFC 197's co-main event. He grabbed Cejudo in a clinch and pulverised him with ferocious knees to the body until the system shut down.

It was as emphatic a victory as you'll ever see. Cejudo was never in it. The fight lasted two minutes and 49 seconds.

Demetrious Johnosn

That was DJ's eighth defence of the flyweight title. The first man to hold the belt went on to defend it three more times against Tim Elliott, Wilson Reis and Ray Borg respectively. Against Borg, he broke Anderson Silva's record for consecutive title defences by securing his 11th straight.

If that achievement wasn't impressive enough, the execution made the moment iconic. A chin drop to an armbar which he locked in mid-air. We had never seen the likes of it before.

Anything can happen

MMA is a crazy, crazy game. Count out anyone at your peril in this sport because it never ceases to be absolutely fucking mental.

After coming up way short in his first title shot, Cejudo dropped another loss. He lost to perennial contender Joseph Benavidez in his next trip to the Octagon via contentious split decision. However, he bounced back from that with a phenomenal knockout victory over Reis before beating Sergio Pettis over three rounds.

That streak earned him another crack at DJ. He would shock the world by getting his hand raised at the second time of asking. On this occasion, he defeated the P4P great via split decision. Two of the three judges scored the fight 48-47 in his favour, with one giving the nod to DJ 48-47.

And new...

Johnson looked like he did some serious damage to Cejudo's lead leg in the opening round. Cejudo stumbled and nearly buckled over on his ankle in the opening frame. After the fight, he cited nerve damage from a calf kick as a potential reason for the near-fall. Cejudo recovered well and picked up the pace in the second to land his first takedown.

DJ showed the composure of a champion against the Olympic gold medal calibre wrestler though. In the third, he did a sensational job of scrambling out of the takedown attempts. At one point, he nearly took Cejudo's back.

Although DJ outstruck Cejudo over the five rounds, a lot of folks had it even going into the fifth. Cejudo simply had more in the gas tank and heaped on the pressure to sway the judges.

The obligatory call out

In his Octagon interview with Joe Rogan, the new flyweight king (13-2, 7-2 UFC) stated his intention to move up to challenge for the bantamweight throne.

“This is a dream come true. From Olympic gold medalist to UFC champion. I was born right here in Los Angeles, in a two-bedroom apartment, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you to these fans in California for their support. I felt very disrespected all week, with all of the talk of a superfight, so I am standing here now to say that I want the winner of the main event.”

Johnson (27-3-1, 15-2-1 UFC) took the loss as a champ.

“Nothing he landed rocked me, but he’s the champ now,” Johnson (27-3-1) said. “I knew he was going to be tough knew he was going to bring his A-game.”