UFC on FX fight least of concerns for White
SUNRISE, Fla. – Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson often references his laid-back demeanor by calling himself a "chill pickle."
Such an attitude is why Johnson had no animosity against Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall in Friday's UFC flyweight rematch at BankAtlantic Center.
UFC president Dana White is a different issue, however. White, the antithesis of a "chill pickle," blasted Florida and its capacity to handle a UFC event while speaking in the post-fight news conference.
The outspoken White ripped the judging, refereeing and attendance at Friday's UFC on FX event, which was televised live from 9-11 p.m.
"There was some bad judging here," White said at the post-fight news conference. "There was some even worse reffing."
How bad were things?
"It was bad," White said. "It was as bad as bad gets. When the ref interferes with the fight completely…"
And the attendance of 6,600?
"I think it sucked," White said.
That's bad news for South Florida UFC fans. And here's worse news.
"I'm not saying we'll never come back," White said. "But it's going to be a while."
As for the main event, Johnson (15-2-1) defeated McCall (11-3-1) by unanimous decision in their three-round fight and now gets a title shot against Joseph Benavidez.
The crowd seemed to be pro-Johnson early in the fight. They chanted "Let's Go Creepy!" in the first round. But by the third round a counter-chant of "Mighty Mouse!" echoed through the arena.
Johnson never seemed to be hurt by McCall, but then it's doubtful McCall could inflict enough pain to make a difference. Johnson, after all, has fought with a broken rib (amateur match), broken leg (Miguel Torres) and a broken hand (Brad Pickett).
Johnson seemed to press the action in the first round and take the fight to McCall. But in the second round it was McCall who was more aggressive. He did his best to harness his superior wrestling skills and keep the fight on the ground but he wasn't able to inflict heavy damage.
Johnson won the fight in the third round. McCall started out having success, but Johnson ended up scoring with punches.
This fight shouldn't have even happened on Friday.
When Johnson and McCall fought in March in Australia the fight ended in a controversial draw. Johnson was first declared the winner but then a scoring error was discovered that made the fight a draw. Had the scoring error been found when the scores were tabulated the fight would have gone to a tie-breaking fourth round, a "sudden victory" round.
As it turned out, Johnson and McCall had to settle their drama in a follow-up fight.
"I love how everybody calls it drama," Johnson said before the fight. "Drama? I have no drama against Ian McCall. It wasn't my fault they scored it like that.
"When I hear drama that reminds me of Baby Mama drama, like, 'I haven't paid my child support this month so I'm going to be thrown in jail. It was just some misunderstanding with the score cards. It happens.
"These judges their job is to tally these scorecards … It wasn't drama. Yeah, I was upset but at the same time I'm a chill pickle."
Even with such a cool attitude, Johnson was wary of leaving the decision to the judges again. He even seemed to agree with White.
"There was some funky scoring going on tonight," Johnson said.
Although the fights were OK – even White admitted the eight non-TV fights were only so-so – the over-riding theme from the night is how much this event seemed to sicken White.
Friday represented the UFC's first appearance in South Florida since 2006, and its first appearance in the state since 2009. And it's almost certain the UFC won't be back anytime soon.
"It's going to be a while," White said, later adding, "Miami is just one of those markets that scares the (expletive) out of me."
White said numerous times Florida is a "crazy market." It was a theme.
Fight fans will remember Friday's 12-fight card because it was the night Johnson earned his title shot against Benavidez.
White will recall Friday as an almost an unmitigated disaster.
"I think this might be the lowest gate in UFC history," he said. "If not, it's damn close."