Friday, March 2, 2012 | 9:45 p.m.
Joseph Benavidez does not have an opponent for the inaugural UFC flyweight championship bout after all.
For a few hours at UFC on FX 2 Friday night, it appeared that Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson would fight later this year for the new championship belt. But an announced majority decision victory for Demetrious Johnson against Ian McCall in a flyweight tournament semifinal bout was overturned to a majority draw in Sydney, Australia.
UFC President Dana White revealed in the post-fight press conference that the Australian Athletic Commission had miscalculated the judges’ scorecards in the Johnson vs. McCall bout.
“Unfortunately, controversy has stuck to us like glue lately,” White said. “These things happen. Human error happens.”
A clearly perturbed White refused to reveal how he scored the bout. Adding insult to the situation was the fact that guidelines were in place to prevent a draw in the flyweight tournament.
The UFC implemented a “sudden victory” round for both flyweight bouts Friday night. In case of a draw, the competitors had agreed to duke it out for five more minutes to declare a winner.
Johnson and McCall both thought it was a possibility after three rounds at Allphones Arena. They were preparing for a fourth round when officials informed them it wouldn’t be necessary because the judges had rendered a decision.
“I was ready to go for a fourth round and do my job,” Johnson said. “We were waiting for it in my corner.”
When the judges originally sided with Johnson, boos and profane chants rang out at the event. Argument ensued on the Internet regarding whether the decision was justified.
McCall stormed out of the octagon, while Johnson explained why he thought he did enough to win the fight. After enjoying the highs of victory for more than two hours, the news of a draw knocked Johnson back down to Earth.
“It (stinks) because it’s going to prolong stuff,” Johnson said. “Even for Joseph Benavidez, he’s probably going to have to sit out for six months. These fights aren’t easy. They are hard on the body. It takes time to recuperate, let your face heal and get back after it.”
White said the UFC would look to schedule Johnson vs. McCall II as soon as April depending on how the two fighters checked out Friday night.
McCall was understandably more upbeat about the situation than anyone else involved.
“We’ll put on another show,” McCall said. “I’m happy because I got a little vindicated, but we’ll do it again and that sounds awesome.”