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UFC on Fox 9, Johnson stops Benavidez in the first round to retain title

Johnson stops Benavidez in the first round
Johnson stops Benavidez in the first round
Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The much anticipated rematch between UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez ended early in the first when Johnson landed a big right hand that dropped Benavidez and ended the fight at the 2:08 mark in the very first round. UFC on Fox 9 aired live last night from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

Bemavidez came out looking to press forward and cut of the cage. At first Johnson was content to use his footwork to stay outside of the reach of Benavidez. When Johnson began to move forward and back Benavidez up, Benavidez made a crucial mistake by throwing a slow front kick and dropped his hands. When he did that, Johnson slide in a landed a right that sent Benavidez to the ground.

Johnson swarmed and landed several unanswered shots before the ref stopped the fight.

This was a huge win for Johnson, who silenced critiques that say he lacks power. Johnson is one of the fastest fighters in the UFC and posses great footwork that makes him a hard match up for anyone looking to challenge for the title. While the win was a big one, Johnson downplayed the victory during the post-fight interview.

“Tonight was a great moment for my career, but in reality it’s just another fight,” Johnson told Joe Rogan. ”My goal is to keep evolving and displaying my skill set to fans and having them enjoy my fights.”

This win marks Johnson's third title defense as UFC flyweight champion. The win brings Johnson to 19-2-1 overall in his MMA career. Johnson now has wins over the top four ranked UFC flyweights. For Benavidez, this loss moves him to 19-4.

UFC on Fox 9 aired live on Fox. The next UFC event on Fox, UFC on Fox 10, is set to take place on January 25, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.