Demetrious Johnson closed out the highly anticipated special rules super-fight at ONE X on Saturday by doing what many envisioned he would do – survive Rodtang Jitmuangnon's striking in the opening muay Thai frame and go on to submit the megastar in the second round.
It was never going to be an easy task for Johnson, given his disadvantage in the opening three minutes. But the 35-year-old veteran nailed his game plan to perfection.
In a battle of two tales, the ONE flyweight muay Thai world champion got things off to a cracking start. He minimized the distance behind his leg kicks and tested Johnson's temple and chin with a variety of strikes. "Mighty Mouse" withstood the barrage, though, and replied with fire.
Johnson broke down Rodtang's defense with a couple of shots aimed at the body and head, and he caught the Bangkok resident with a straight-cross combination just before the end of the opening round.
The American MMA legend promised fans that he would go toe-to-toe with "The Iron Man" in the striking-only rounds, and he did just that against one of the most feared stand-up fighters in the world today.
In the second round – scored under Johnson's playground of mixed martial arts – the 12-time flyweight MMA world champion took the game to his opposite number, and it didn't take him long to put an end to the special rules super-fight.
The American's high fight IQ and experience in the all-encompassing sport were simply too much for the 24-year-old muay Thai superstar, as Johnson unloaded a leg kick, dropped levels, and went in hot pursuit of a takedown.
He found the space he needed to work in a finish and hung on to Rodtang's back. With his arms around the Thai's neck, the American dropped him to the canvas and tightened his squeeze.
There was little that the muay Thai megastar could do from there, and referee Olivier Coste eventually stopped the action to hand "Mighty Mouse" the victory via rear-naked choke at 2:13 of the second round.
This story first published at ONEFC.com.