LAS VEGAS — Da’Mon Blackshear and Jose Johnson came out firing hard punches and kicks at each other in their bantamweight bout Saturday on the preliminary card of UFC Vegas 78 at Apex.
It was Blackshear’s ground game that made the difference with a rare win by twister. The submission, which came at 3:47 of the first round, was only the third win by twister in UFC history.
“Oh it feels amazing [to be one of the three who won by twister submission],” Blackshear said in the Octagon after the fight. “Film study is big, like you said. It’s all in the details.”
Chan Sung Jung, aka “The Korean Zombie,” submitted Leonard Garcia on March 26, 2011, in Seattle. Bryce Mitchell had the other when he pulled it on Matt Sayles, on Dec. 7, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
In the opening seconds of the Blackshear-Johnson bout, a win by submission seemed like the last thing that would occur. They came out hard and the sound of the punches and kicks reverberated through the Apex.
Blackshear took Johnson down and immediately went to work. As they were grappling, Johnson threw an elbow at Blackshear, which was the beginning of the end. Blackshear said he knew a twister could be possible in such a situation, and he proved he knew what he was talking about.
He hooked Johnson’s arm and immediately locked in the twister, one of the most painful submissions. Johnson tapped to give Blackshear his second UFC win to go to 2-1-1 and improve his overall record to 12-5. The victory was his ninth by submission.
“Yeah, I knew once I was in that position — because I’d seen the film and I was like, ‘I’ll twist the s*** out of this dude,’” Blackshear said. “So when we got into this position I was like, ‘Oh, I am vulnerable for an elbow, but if he elbows me, then he’s done so I just capitalized on it.’”