If anyone knows they’re a UFC flyweight champion, it’s Demetrious Johnson. After all, he was the only £ 125 PhD title holder for almost six years.
Johnson was part of a historic October 2018 deal that sent him to the ONE Championship for Ben Askren after losing the title to Henry Cejudo through a split decision at UFC 228. Since then « Mighty Mouse » has won three victories for its new promotion and won the Grand Prix world flyweight title from ONE.
Though his 2020 has been set aside by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson was on the pulse of the sport and its previous promotion and division.
Deiveson Figueiredo will make his first title defense on Saturday when he takes on Alex Perez in the main UFC 255 event. Figueiredo won the title when he submitted Joseph Benavidez in the first round of the UFC Fight Island 2 event in July.
After breaking Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defense at 11, Johnson believes Deus da Guerra could give him a run for his money as he’s quite impressed with the current champion.
« I think Figueiredo is great, » Johnson told MMA Fighting while performing on What the Heck. « He has all the tools to be a champion for a very, very long time. He can take a shot, he has great cardio, great jiu-jitsu, he hits hard and these are all good things for having a long title reign.
« As long as he stays healthy, drug tests come back clean and keep increasing. I don’t understand why he couldn’t be a champion for a long time. « . ”
For years it has been a constant struggle for the UFC flyweight division to deal with the fans despite Johnson’s incredible title reign. When Figueiredo and Perez were headlining the PPV event this weekend, Johnson was asked if there might be additional pressure on the headliners to shed additional light on the exciting and often underrated 125 pound weight class.
« When I see [flyweight] fights, I don’t necessarily think these guys need to go out there and make a statement that the division is dope. « . I’ve always thought that way, « said Johnson. “That was always my attitude and for me I like vanilla cake. You will never make me like chocolate cake. I don’t care if we’re on Mars, Venus or Pluto, I’ll always enjoy vanilla cake over chocolate cake.
« So it is with some people. They like heavyweight fighters more than lightweight fighters, and I respect that. You can try to convince them, but for me I know what kind of weight classes I like to see and no one is going to change that perspective. There may be a certain athlete who makes me change that, but in the end I like that. ”
Although Johnson didn’t make an official prediction, he seems confident the champion will keep his belt against an up and coming challenger in Perez. Should Figueiredo succeed, Johnson would love to donn his fan hat on in the near future and see a matchup between the last two champions – one of which is the man who dethroned him who has since retired.
« I’d love to see him and Henry Cejudo, » said Johnson. « I would love to see Cejudo come back and fight him because I think Henry Cejudo is the complete package. He will accelerate the pace, he will wrestle and he is intelligent. I have a feeling Henry would go out there and cause problems. Without saying Alex Perez can’t, I just haven’t seen enough of Alex.
« Me and Cejudo have fought before, so I know Henry can go out there and solve a puzzle. ”
Deiveson Figueiredo, Demetrious Johnson, Henry Cejudo
World News – USA – Demetrious Johnson can see Deiveson Figueiredo champion « for a very long time », fascinated by the fight with Henry Cejudo
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