Jimmy Smith Explains How Henry Cejudo Can Beat Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227
It’s understandable that Demetrious Johnson seems to be the unsolvable puzzle after 11 straight title defenses in the UFC flyweight division.
But Henry Cejudo believes he’s the person who has finally figured out a way to stop “Mighty Mouse’ and hand him his first loss at 125 pounds.
On Saturday night at UFC 227, Cejudo will get his opportunity as he faces Johnson in the co-main event from Los Angeles.
As confident as Cejudo might be, he’s still walking into the fight as a massive underdog with odds makers putting Johnson at approximately a 5-to-1 favorite.
Still, UFC on FOX analyst Jimmy Smith believes there is a path to victory for Cejudo if he sticks to a certain game plan when he steps into the Octagon with Johnson on Saturday night.
“Frustrate him and take him down a lot,” Smith said when asked for how Cejudo wins at UFC 227. “I mean a guy as explosive as Demetrious Johnson, who can win from so many different positions, so explosive, so powerful, one of the greatest of all time — going back to his corner feeling like ‘I didn’t do enough, I was held down a little bit too much’. Get him frustrated. Henry Cejudo has to rely on his wrestling.
“His striking has improved. He’s throwing much better combinations now. He’s much more fluid with the way he strikes, he has to be able to frustrate Demetrious Johnson. If he can win one or two out of the first three rounds and keep up with Demetrious Johnson. Too often, it’s a foot race with Demetrious Johnson and he zooms past you and all you see is a cloud of dust. Henry Cejudo has to frustrate Demetrious Johnson with his takedowns and bank enough minutes and enough rounds to make the champ question himself, which he hasn’t had to do in a long time.”
Cejudo is an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling so there’s little doubt he’s got the grappling skills that could give Johnson headaches if he can latch onto the flyweight champion and drag him to the mat.
Throughout his UFC career, Cejudo has shown explosive wrestling while averaging just under three takedowns per 15 minutes spent in the cage. Add to that, Cejudo has never been taken down since joining the UFC roster so he’s able to take a few more chances on the feet while knowing it’s going to be awfully hard to get him down on the ground.
Given Smith’s strategy, Cejudo certainly seems to have a way to victory on Saturday night but can he become the first fighter to defeat Johnson in nearly seven years?
The world will find out at UFC 227 as the card unfolds from Los Angeles starting at 10 p.m. ET.