Ex-UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson discloses Henry Cejudo would’ve defeated Aljamain Sterling under ONE Championship rules

According to Demetrious Johnson, while he saw Henry Cejudo narrowly lose to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288, he acknowledged that it was a very close fight.

Although Sterling won the UFC bantamweight title bout by split decision, Johnson believes that if the fight had been under the ruleset of ONE Championship, the outcome would have been different and Cejudo would have emerged victorious.

“Oh, 1,000 percent,” Johnson told MMA Junkie when asked if Cejudo would’ve beat Sterling under ONE Championship rules. “One of the things when I was watching with Matt (Hume). Aljo would shoot – and he did it with Petr Yan. He would shoot and fail his shot, or Henry would sprawl and (Sterling) would sit like this [swings head from side to side]. He would use the (prohibited) knee to a grounded opponent to his advantage.

Demetrious stated that Aljamain Sterling’s strategy to win against Henry was a smart move because he knew that Cejudo lacked the proper techniques to counter him.

However, Johnson believed that if the fight had taken place under ONE Championship’s ruleset. Cejudo would have had an advantage as he could have kneed Sterling in the face when he had the quarter Nelson or the head. Forcing him to move and not stall in that position.

Johnson watched the fight live and even recorded himself saying “knee, knee, knee, knee,” realizing that it was not allowed under UFC rules.

Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious, who recently defended his flyweight belt at ONE Fight Night 10. Shared his thoughts on the UFC bantamweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and Aljamain Sterling.

Although Sterling won by split decision, Demetrious, using the UFC judging criteria, scored the fight for Cejudo.

Demetrious Johnson shares his thoughts on Henry Cejudo’s fight 

Johnson expressed disappointment for Cejudo, who he knows wanted the victory badly. But also acknowledged Sterling’s wrestling ability. Despite Henry being a gold Olympic medalist in wrestling and never having been taken down in his UFC fights.

Sterling was able to do so and get his back, which prevented him from using his submission game.

Demetrious Johnson UFC Fighter Pay

Johnson, who is regarded as one of the best grapplers in MMA, felt that Henry did enough to win the fight and become the new champion. Going into the fifth round, Johnson had it even at 2-2, but he believed that Cejudo did enough to secure the win.

Johnson expressed that even though Henry did not come out on top. He is still proud of his friend’s performance at UFC 288 against Sterling.

Despite the split decision loss, Cejudo showed his fighting spirit and put up a great fight in the octagon. Johnson acknowledged how badly Henry wanted the win and the effort he put into the fight, adding that it was a great performance overall.

Despite the outcome, Demetrious remains supportive of Cejudo and his accomplishments as a fighter.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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