Monterrey, Mexico- A battle between Top 5 flyweights resulted in a split decision victory for former Olympic gold-medalist Henry Cejudo and likely earned him a flyweight championship match.
UFC Fight Night 78 was held on November 21, 2015 at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
As expected by many, the majority of the 1st round took place on the feet with Cejudo looking to work his boxing against the BJJ ace Formiga. The Brazilian wasn’t overwhelmed by Cejudo, but he wasn’t landing as hard as the former Olympian and was forced to endure some hard knees while in the clinch. It wasn’t a blowout, but Cejudo snagged the advantage in the round and sealed it for himself by securing a late takedown just before the bell.
The action stayed in the center of the Octagon throughout the 2nd round with Cejudo continuing to outwork Formiga with strikes. Cejudo seemed to be getting off first most of the time and once again found some success in the clinch and the subsequent breaks. Neither competitor looked to be slowing down, but it was Cejudo that was getting the better of the exchanges.
Formiga continued to attempt to move forward as the 3rd round began, but Cejudo refused to take a step back and simply allowed his opponent to run into his clinch where he could land a higher volume of blows than Formiga. The knee to the body was a weapon that the American was able to implement repeatedly while on the inside. Like before, Formiga was never hurt or being blown out, but he was being outworked. Cejudo constantly stymied Formiga’s offense with the clinch and never allowed him to get off any truly effective shots. With the ground not being an option, the Brazilian’s options were severely limited. as the clock continued to bleed away. He was able to draw blood in the final round, but it wasn’t enough to discourage or hurt Cejudo.
It wasn’t the breakout performance he may have been looking for, but Cejudo was able to do enough to convince two of the judges that he was the winner and took the somewhat surprising split decision victory with scores of 30-27, 28-29, and 30-27. In all likelihood, the “W” over Formiga will secure a title shot against Demetrius Johnson for Henry Cejudo.
The #5 ranked Cejudo is now 10-0. Jussier Formiga, who was also ranked in the Top 5 at #3, dropped to 18-4.