Imagine, if you will, being Demetrius Johnson. After a grueling three rounds against Ian McCall, the mostly unknown import from the independent scene, your hand is raised high. You're one step closer to your dream of becoming the UFC's first flyweight champion.
Elation. Pride. Accomplishment. The swirl of emotion that only comes from winning at the highest levels of competition. It's a great feeling.
And for Johnson, it lasted about 15 minutes. That's when Australian officials determined that the scorecards had been added incorrectly. The fight was actually a draw. Johnson and McCall, part of a four man tournament, would have to run it back.
For someone receiving such monumental news, Johnson took it in stride. There were no histrionics, with the exception of Joseph Benavidez's hilarious facial expressions at the post-fight presser when he heard the news. Johnson was immediately focused on doing whatever it took to meet Benavidez in the cage to determine the new champion.
"He couldn't have been better," UFC President Dana White said. "He couldn't have been classier - as classy as classy can be."
McCall, who had stormed out the Octagon after the decision was announced, tried to hide his elation under a mask of irony and nonchalance. But it was hard to hide the thrill on his face. He had battered Johnson in the third and final round, winning it 10-8 on one score card, dominating "Mighty Mouse" with vicious ground and pound. Now he would get the chance to settle the score.
"Shoot, we get to fight again," McCall said at the post-fight press conference. "You guys had a good time right? We'll put on another show."
On Friday, 97 days after the first bout, the rematch will finally go down, the main event of a solid night of fights on FX.
"I was confident to begin with. I never doubted myself about the fight. But now I know that I am the better fighter," McCall told Bleacher Report. "I’m stronger, physically stronger, more aggressive; things like that. I know I can finish him, I know I can beat him up."
Considering it's the sequel to one of the best fights of the year, the buzz in the MMA community has been minimal. Do yourself a favor and make a point of tuning in. While it seems like there is a fight card nearly every weekend, this is not one you want to miss.