Benavidez-Johnson Title Fight Sooner Than Later?
Posted on 10 Jun 2012
by MMAScoops.com Staff
UFC president Dana White wants to have the Joseph Benavidez (16-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) vs Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1 MMA, 3-1-1 UFC) flyweight title fight sooner than later.
Johnson defeated Ian McCall at Friday's UFC on FX 3 event to get to the finals of the tournament to crown the inaugural flyweight champion. It was a rematch of their majority draw at UFC on FX 2, which didn't have a tiebreaker fourth round because of a tabulation error. In the rematch, Johnson won via unanimous decision. The fight took place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Johnson says he's ready to go as soon as September, and White wants to book the fight as soon as possible. He recently lost names like Brian Stann, Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping due to injury. While the bantamweight and featherweight divisions haven't been as popular as the heavier divisions since they were adopted in 2011, White says the Benavidez vs Johnson fight will have a prominent spot on whichever card it shows up on.
Johnson could have a three month hiatus between fights, but Benavidez has been waiting for a fight for much longer, and will have had a six month break at the least. He's only had five minutes in the Octagon since August.
On when he wants the fight: "At the rate guys are dropping for me, I need fights as quick as possible, so I'd like to make this as soon as possible."
On if the fight will be the main event: "Yeah, no doubt about it (that it'll be the main event). It's going to be a title shot. Here's how the UFC works: If you're fighting for the title... [other fights] will never headline above a title fight. The title fight gets the top billing always."
On if flyweight fighters can draw: Back [from 2000-2002], people were telling me 155-pounders couldn't headline cards. But B.J. Penn became one of the greatest stars in UFC history, and the list goes on on. Talking about smaller guys, big guys? Listen, if you're a fight fan, you should like fights no matter how big the guys are. And when these little guys come in and go, it's exciting as hell."
On who has the advantage: "Someone was asking me about the fact that 'Mighty Mouse' fought twice while Benavidez hasn't. I think it benefits the guy who fought twice. I think as a fighter, you stay accurate, your timing stays on, and you're in better shape. The only way to be better at fighting is fighting. So I think it benefits him much more."