Charles Johnson won the LFA “Interim Flyweight Title after surviving pressure from a game and competitive Yuma Horiuchi to win a split decision over five rounds in the main event of LFA 110 on Friday Night at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, Okla.,
Johnson (9-2) had a very close fight with Yamauchi (8-4) and the scores were a good reflection of how things looked in the Octagon after five rounds . ( 49-45, 46-48, 48-46 ) was the score from the judges, which was enough to earn him the belt.
Reigning Champion Victor Altamirano has been booked for Dana White contenders series in the fall and won’t be available for a unification. His availability depends on his performance at the contender series. If he wins a contract, he will vacate the title and move over to the UFC and LFA will have no choice but to promote Johnson to undisputed champion. However, if he fails then there will be a unification fight.
The two started the first round filling out one another and peppered themselves with leg kicks and body shots. The fight was going at that pace till the closing seconds of the round when Johnson connected a big right hand on Horiuchi, which stunned and staggered him around the Octagon before the bell was heard.
Horiuchi bounced back in the second round, fully recovered and continued kicking as in the first. After enough leg kicks, he raised his target high and landed a few shots to the body. Johnson was busy trash talking in while fighting , when suddenly he got tagged with a low blow from Horiuchi. The referee deducted a point for that.
The point deduction sparked life into Horiuchi, who quickly backed Johnson up with his kicks and body shots. He effectively made use of his striking skills but that didn’t clear up the signs of the damage caused by Johnson in the early rounds, which was now evident around his left eye. Horiuchi never relented and continued his unrelenting attack on Johnson for the remainder of the round.
The championship rounds were mostly the same as Horiuchi took the fight to a fatigued Johnson, who did his best holding him off. Horiuchi controlled the pace of the fight, backed up Johnson with combinations connecting the head and body. Johnson still kept the fight competitive.
Johnson’s corner did some preaching heading into the the final round and that helped as Johnson went in with intentions of making a statement, he triggered a back and forth from Horiuchi, who attacked the body. Johnson land some good jabs that later slowed Horiuchi down as the damage on his face increased.
Both teams began celebrating after the final horn and had their own case of victory before the fight winner was announced. Two of the three judges scored the fight for Johnson.
“I’m disappointed with myself,” Johnson said in his post-fight interview with Alan Jouban. “I feel like I didn’t fight to my ability, but at the same time, I got away with the win here today. I feel like I won the fight, I just didn’t fight to the best of my ability.”
LFA 110 Full Result
Charles Johnson def. Yuma Horiuchi via split decision (49-45, 46-48, 48-46) – to win interim flyweight title
Renato Valente def. Chibwikem Onyenegecha via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-26)
Christian Natividad def. Luis Aguirre via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-26)
Jaqueline Amorim def. Megan Owen via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:10
Oscar Herrera def. Arpan Gurung via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 3:17