Henry Cejudo says clinch game was his strategy into Demetrious Johnson bout at UFC 197: “I was humbled tonight”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Henry Cejudo (photo credit Tom Heitman © USA Today Sports)

“Honestly, that was part of our game plan as a camp. I really did believe I was going to dominate the clinch. Coming from a wrestling background, I felt really strong. It was that first knee that he hit me with. I think he said it during the interview, too. He heard me grunt. I took him down. I could’ve held him down a little longer, but I was still trying to catch my breath. It was that one knee that really did it. When you get hit to the body, you don’t even worry about your face no more. So, I just started kinda protecting my body, like hanging my head down. He did a good job. He attacked my body. I underestimated his clinch and he hit me to the body on both sides. He did a good job. I underestimated his clinch. The plan was to take him there and then slowly wrestle him. That knee was the difference in that he just beat me up with knees. That was the biggest thing. He dominated me in that certain area. I felt good, like my recovery. I’ve never felt this good. If you guys have ever fought, if you get hit to the body, man, it paralyzes you. It’s a humbling experience for me. I was humbled tonight.”

-Henry Cejudo talks about his first round loss to Demetrious Johnson at UFC 197 during the post-fight press conference (transcribed by MMAFighting.com).

Penick’s Analysis: The fight took such a turn out of the first significant clinch. Johnson’s muay thai is a fantastic aspect of his overall skill set, and those knees in the clinch were beautiful. He hit Cejudo from multiple angles in that clinch, catching him from side to side whenever Cejudo attempted to block a different spot on his body. Once he knew Cejudo was hurt he didn’t let up, and it was as impressive a performance as Johnson’s ever had in the division. Cejudo just found himself up against far too great an opponent on Saturday night.

[Photo (c) Tom Heitman via USA Today Sports]

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