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Cruz Holds Back Johnson; Keeps Title After Five Round Battle

Dominick Cruz retained his UFC bantamweight title tonight, defeating a hard-charging Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC Live 6.

Johnson made it a fight every step of the way though, maintaining a marathon pace that caused Cruz to look a step behind for the first time in recent memory. Mighty Mouse constantly pushed the pace, closing the distance, tagging The Dominator on the breaks and forcing the champion to draw deep from his gas tank. The two worked back and forth at a breakneck pace from the first bell until the last, both having their moments, but it was Cruz who controlled the fight.

With Mighty Mouse finding the majority of his success on the feet, the champion resorted to his grappling skills, displaying power and technique in frequently putting Johnson on the mat. More than once, Cruz mounted Johnson and took his back; he threatened the challenger repeatedly with submissions from that position. Cruz put Johnson down with suplexes, double legs and trips, showing that he has a diverse array of takedowns to draw from.

In the final round, Cruz put a seal on his victory by repeatedly putting a surging Mighty Mouse on the mat, threatening with submissions and finally repelling his perpetually-forward-moving opponent with a hard knee to the body and a final takedown.

Cruz challenged the rest of the division to challenge for his title, which he has now defended four times consecutively; the 26-year-old improves to 19-1 in victory. Johnson leaves the cage with a badly swollen left cheek and a new career mark of 9-2 to show for his efforts.

UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson went down at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.