To be dominant at any level of the UFC is impressive, but to be dominant in a title fight is almost unheard of as, usually, title fights are the two best fighters in the division going at it. These are the top five most dominant title fight performances.
5. Jon Jones VS Mauricio Shogun Rua
UFC 128: March 19, 2011
This is the fight that started the legendary championship run of Jon Jones. At the time, Jones was 13-1 and only 23 years old, facing a man by the name of Shogun Rua. Shogun was 19-4 and coming off a knockout win against Lyoto Machida, in which he won the Light Heavyweight championship. The odds were against Jones, as he was just a hot young prospect facing a PRIDE legend, but something magical happened in the opening seconds of the first round. Jones threw a flying knee that stunned Rua and he maintained that momentum the rest of the fight, with his impressive range, slicing elbows and destructive knees, he stopped Rua midway through the third round. This fight was a true changing of the guard that changed the history of the division.
4. Carla Esparza VS Joanna Jȩdrejczyk
UFC 185: March 14, 2015
Another fight where the challenger completely dominated and started the legend of “Boogiewoman”. Coming into this fight, Esparza was a newly-minted champion after a very successful season on the Ultimate Fighter, while Joanna was practically unknown. A moderate favourite at -145, Carla Esparza was expected to employ her high-level wrestling to dominate the accomplished kickboxer. Once the fight started, it was clear that Jȩdrejczyk had the advantage on the feet, with accurate and powerful strikes and amazing defensive wrestling and Esparza only landing one takedown out of ten. Jȩdrejczyk employed powerful elbows during the ground exchanges and caught her opponent at the end of her punches. She finished the fight late into the second with a flurry of blows. As Esparza, fell a star rose in Joanna Jȩdrejczyk.
3. George St-Pierre VS Josh Koscheck II
UFC 124: December 11, 2010
In GSP’s fifth title defence, he faced a man that he already beat, in the loud-mouthed and brash Josh Koscheck. The first time they fought, Koscheck was a one-dimensional wrestler and had some success, but in the second fight, he found little to none. GSP was enjoying his second run as the UFC Welterweight champion, in which he was cementing his name in the pound for pound rankings. Koscheck had improved his striking greatly, but not enough, as St-Pierre used a technical striking game based around an aggressive jab to keep the 4x All-American wrestler at bay. GSP used defensive wrestling and technical striking to control the match. He landed fifty-five jabs on Koscheck. In doing so, he broke Koscheck’s orbital bone, closing his eye completely. Josh Koscheck’s game plan revolved around his heavy hands and wrestling; none of which he could employ effectively. GSP went on to put in one of the most dominating performances in his career, winning by unanimous decision (50-45).
2. Kamaru Usman VS Tyron Woodley
UFC 235; March 2, 2019
Usman VS Woodley is not the most entertaining fight to watch but it is an absolute masterpiece of offensive wrestling in MMA. What’s most impressive is that Usman completely controlled and shut down Tyron Woodley, which no one had ever done before in this fashion. Woodley looked visually defeated as the fight dragged on. Usman, on the other hand, kept up an impressive pace, landing one hundred and ninety-seven body strikes and out-landed Woodley 336 to 60, the largest differential in a title fight. Usman completely decimated Woodley, it was almost surprising to see such control in a championship fight. Not only did Usman defeat Woodley, but he also solved the puzzle that was Woodley’s counter-striking. Usman went on to win by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45) and truly shook up the welterweight division.
1. Demitrious Johnson VS Ray Borg
UFC 216: August 4, 2018
Johnson VS Borg is a master class in pressure fighting, it’s almost beautiful to watch! In his twelfth title defence, Demitrious faced Ray Borg for a chance to break Anderson Silva’s title defence record, and boy did he. From round one he completely dominated and controlled Borg; on the feet, Johnson controlled the striking with frantic pace and lightning-fast footwork. On the ground, he would overwhelm Borg with strikes from unorthodox angles. By the beginning of the fourth round, Demitrious led the fight with one hundred and twenty-five strikes to eleven! Going into the fifth, it appeared he had completely buried Ray Borg and would ride his way to a decision. Three minutes in, Johnson had Borg’s back against the cage and threw him into the air with a suplex and then sunk in an armbar midair! Not only did Johnson break an impressive record, but he also did it with a submission no one had ever seen or even thought of. This is Demitrious Johnson’s magnum opus to cap off a complete domination of an entire division.
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