Inside the first six months of 2015, two new UFC records were set pertaining to finishing times in title fights.
Ronda Rousey recorded the earliest finish in UFC title fight history on Feb. 28, submitting Cat Zingano in just 14 seconds. Two months later, on April 25 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson set a record for the latest finish in UFC title fight history, submitting Kyoji Horiguchi via armbar at 4:59 of the final round.
Which one earns award for Submission of the midyear? It truly is a pick your poison kind of deal. If we're forced to pick between the two, we pick Johnson's -- maybe for the simple reason it will never be broken. Unless UFC title fights gain a round someday, you can't get any later than 4:59 of the fifth.
Johnson's finish also felt somewhat poetic. The ridiculously talented champion has been forced to answer the 'Why don't more fans appreciate your division?" question far too many times. Apparently, dominant title defenses just aren't enough to please the masses.
That's why it almost felt like Johnson had trolled us all on April 25. He dominated Horiguchi to a point that any sense of drama had been put to bed by the second round. That title fight was over less than 10 minutes in. All it was waiting on was an official finish time and a post-fight interview. Johnson's waiting until the last possible second to put Horiguchi away, in a fight that was already his, just felt right.
The 28-year-old champion has submitted three of the last five title challengers he's fought. And these aren't just rear-naked chokes applied from the back, after Johnson has beaten up and demoralized his victims. He's tapped two highly ranked flyweights via armbar and one by kimura.