It was similar to the fans who flashed their taillights at Dodger Stadium when they bolted early thinking there was no way Kirk Gibson was going to hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs against Oakland A’s ace Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series.
Well, at least those fans got to see Gibson on television when they got home limping in pain as he circled the bases after going yard.
Speaking of leaving early, a hoard of fans inside Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada Saturday night bounced well before flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (pictured) defeated Kyoji Horiguchi in UFC 186‘s main event.
Those fans must have thought Johnson was going to cruise to another uneventful unanimous decision victory. Little did the eager beavers know, Johnson set a UFC record for the latest finish in a fight.
Johnson surprisingly slapped on an armbar and got Horiguchi to tap with just one tick remaining in their five round affair.
Those fans who left early must surely be kicking themselves after reading this. Guess what? UFC president Dana White says, too bad, so sad.
“I didn’t notice,” White said at the post-fight press conference of the arena emptying prematurely. “I don’t give a s*** what people are doing. I’m watching the fight.”
For whatever reason, despite his dominant speed and overall skills, Johnson gets a bad rap for not being an exciting fighter. However, after last night’s blowout victory, “Mighty Mouse” has now finished off four of his last five victims before the final horn.
“It’s kind of sad that Demetrious Johnson has this thing hanging over his head – that he’s not this, he’s not that,” White said. “If you understand anything about mixed martial arts and you watch what’s going on there tonight against a tough guy like Horiguchi, who can knock you out at any time and has great wrestling, what Demetrious Johnson was able to do in that fight and literally break him down the whole fight. Then he goes for the armbar at the end. His cardio is unbelievable. His speed – like [UFC commentator Joe] Rogan always says, ‘He’s the fastest guy in the sport. And he is technically perfect.’
“He does everything the exact way he’s supposed to. He comes in with a game plan and he follows it to the letter. He’s just one of these guys who’s got to put his head down, keep doing his thing and you just have to respect him. Anderson Silva wasn’t the biggest star while he was champion. Chuck Liddell wasn’t a big star for a while. His day will come.”
Johnson is the only flyweight champion the UFC has ever known. He’s won eight straight scraps, with the last six being of the title defense variety.
For the most part, none of the opponents in Johnson’s recent run have come close to being competitive, let alone beating him.
Johnson appears to be the victim of his own greatness. It would be great if fans stuck around to appreciate it.