Johnson delivers against McCall

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:46 AM ET

TORONTO - Demetrious Johnson punched his ticket to the flyweight-tournament finals, defeating Ian McCall via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC on FX 3 in Sunrise, Fla. Friday.

The two picked up right where they left off from their fight-of-the-year candidate three months ago, delivering another high-octane affair.

Johnson utilized his quick footwork and striking to take the first round, dropping McCall with a slick counter right-straight. McCall picked it up in the second, finding his range and delivering a series of takedowns and slams. However, Johnson adjusted in the third, frustrating McCall with feints and landing big shots.

After three thrilling rounds, the judges scored the bout 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28 for Johnson.

“First off, give it up to Ian McCall,” Johnson said to interviewer Jon Anik.

“I just went back to my old-school (style), using my athletic abilities and letting my mind go free.”

A disappointed McCall apologized to the fans.

“I’m really disappointed in myself,” McCall said. “I’m sorry you guys.”

The two first met at UFC on FX 2 in Sydney, Australia March 3. Johnson was originally awarded a majority-decision victory, but it was later revealed the bout was actually scored a majority draw. The head of the Combat Sports Authority of New South Wales had tallied the scorecards wrong.

With the rematch behind him, Johnson will meet Joseph Benavidez at a later date to crown the first-ever UFC flyweight champion.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Johnson said. “Joseph’s a killer. I like the guy, but it’s going to be a great fight.”

Erick Silva picked up yet another first-round stoppage, submitting Charlie Brenneman in the co-main event.

Brenneman brought the fight to Silva early, attempting to impose his stellar wrestling game. Though he finished a pair of takedowns, he was unable to mount much offence.

After sprawling off a takedown attempt, the Brazilian standout transitioned to back-control and trapped Brenneman in a rear-naked choke.

“Thank you to the UFC for putting me in the co-main event on FX,” Silva said through translator and manager Wallid Ismail. “This is big for me.”

Mike Pyle delivered a stunning comeback victory, flattening Josh Neer with a vicious punch.

As the first round started winding down, Neer began unloading with hard punches against the cage. But as he was swinging, Pyle landed a huge right-hook that caused Neer to face-plant into the mat.

“The plan was not to take that kind of abuse, but it was going as planed,” Pyle said. “I wanted to show the right hand.”

Eddie Wineland earned his first UFC victory, delivering a vicious KO punch to Scott Jorgensen.

The two went toe-to-toe in an exciting stand-up war. Wineland took the advantage early, utilizing his speed and sharp striking to score a knockdown in the first round. Jorgensen bounced back in the second, bloodying the former WEC bantamweight champion with a nasty knee.

But with less than a minute in the frame, Wineland landed a devastating straight-right to put Jorgensen away.

Wineland’s first two UFC appearances saw him drop unanimous decisions to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez.

Mike Pierce won a dull split decision over Carlos Eduardo Rocha in the final preliminary bout.

Though Rocha never mounted any offence, judge Ric Bays actually awarded him all three rounds.

Seth Baczynski earned his fifth straight victory, taking a debatable split decision over Lance Benoist.

Matt Grice picked up his first UFC victory in almost five years, winning a dominant unanimous decision over Leonard Garcia.

The bout marks Garcia’s third loss in a row.

TUF 14 cast member Dustin Pague snagged his first UFC victory, submitting Jared Papazian.

Tim Means made quick work of Justin Salas, putting him away with strikes in the first round.

Buddy Roberts finally made his UFC debut, winning an impressive unanimous decision over Caio Magalhaes.

Roberts was originally set to face Sean Loeffler at UFC on Fuel TV 1 in February, but Loeffler suffered a freak ankle injury backstage before the fight.

Henry Martinez picked up the first win of his UFC career, snagging a questionable unanimous decision over a game Bernardo Magalhaes.

Toronto welterweight Sean Pierson snapped a two-fight losing streak, winning an entertaining unanimous decision over Jake Hecht in the opening fight.


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