A duo of undefeated bantamweight prospects looked to stake their claim in a loaded UFC 135-pound division at UFC Vancouver. In one corner, Canadian Cole Smith attempted to prove his unanimous decision win over Mitch Gagnon in his promotional debut at UFC Ottawa was no fluke. The 30-year-old was born in Vancouver and didn’t plan on disappointing the hometown crowd in suffering his first loss.
Miles Johns wasn’t so sure about that plan. The 25-year-old American made his promotional debut in Vancouver, following his unanimous decision victory on the Dana White Contender Series in June. Prior to his DWCS bout, Johns was 5-0 while fighting in LFA/Legacy FC from 2016-2018.
Round 1: Smith took center before he shot in and looked for the takedown. Johns reversed the position then spun away but Smith chased and stuck with him. Johns kept a wide base but Smith worked for position and took his back. Smith got his hooks in and looked for the choke on a standing Johns.
Johns walked to his corner with Smith on his back to better hear instructions and Smith worked to secure the choke. Johns defended well and Smith gave up on the choke and moved back to the clinch against the cage. Smith worked to the back of Johns but Johns spun free and the two met back at the center of the cage as the horn sounded.
Round 2: Smith came out with a pair of front kicks and looked to pressure Johns into the cage again but Johns exploded forward and landed his own takedown. Johns worked from Smith’s full guard and Smith worked his way towards the fence and worked back to his feet.
Johns fired an overhand right on the break but Smith ducked under, charged forward and got his own takedown. Smith immediately took back position and locked in a body triangle on Johns. Johns looked to roll into the triangle but Smith switched it up and rolled Johns the other way and looked like he got really close to sliding his arm through for the choke. Johns defended and eventually spun around and ended up on top.
Johns fired off punches from the top and was able to get back into full guard but Johns continued to drop punches from the top to close out the round.
Round 3: Smith came out fast but Johns answered with a pair of heavy punches. Smith kept his advance and the pair both just missed on their power shots. Smith rushed forward and again looked for the takedown but Johns defended, widened his stance and fought for position. Smith tried to tie up Johns leg for the trip but Johns saw it and adjusted. Johns escaped and landed a big right that hurt Smith. Johns again moved forward with a right. Smith kept moving forward and Johns dropped him with a left!
Smith was quick back to his feet and tried for a takedown but Johns shrugged it off and the two exchanged again. Johns landed another right that pushed Smith back but Smith kept moving forward, Johns landed a solid right and Smith looked for a takedown that Johns pushed off.
Smith again moved forward and Johns looked to counter but Smith went for the takedown and again Johns deafened, the two broke and Johns exploded with a flurry of punches as the horn sounded to end the action.
Winner: Johns def. Smith by Split Decision (29-28 28-29 29-28)