With his unanimous decision over Ian McCall at
UFC on FX 3, Demetrious
Johnson advanced to the UFC flyweight tournament final and he’s
already forming his strategy to win it.
Benavidez will be the opponent standing in his way.
“The thing I’ve got to watch out for with Joseph is that obviously
he knows where I’m weak at, which is take me down and hold me there
and ground-and-pound me and all that stuff,” Johnson told the
Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I’m just going to go back,
work on my ground, my wrestling and my standup because I think I
can take him on the feet. Nobody in the UFC has beat me on the feet
yet. I’ve got to keep using my footwork, using my hands and my
elevation change and all that good stuff and staying fluid out
there and just take it to Joseph.”
Benavidez advanced to the final with a second-round stoppage of
Urushitani in March. He’ll pose an unorthodox challenge, but
Johnson has been in the cage with unorthodox fighters before. Last
October, “Mighty Mouse” went five rounds with Dominick
“You keep your hands up,” Johnson said when asked how he would
handle Benavidez’s style. “You keep your footwork moving. You move
yourself all the time, and it’s going to be hard for him to track
you down. It’s just like when I fought Dominick. Everybody was
like, ‘Man, his footwork’s so hard to deal with. It’s so hard to
stay with him.’ But if you’ve been raised to fight correctly and
just move with your opponent and move while you strike and never
get off balance and just attack, attack, then you’re able to deal
The fight could happen sooner than initially expected after
Johnson’s win over McCall. Following that bout he’d been told he
had a hernia, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Johnson still
plans on getting an X-ray on his right hand as well, but if he’s
cleared, he’ll be ready to discuss when he can fight Benavidez.
Regardless of when the match comes together, Johnson expects it to
be a thriller.
“He’s never been finished his whole entire career,” Johnson said.
“It would be nice to finish him, but I don’t see that happening.
It’s going to be a great fight. It’s probably going to be Fight of
the Year at 125. We’re going to deliver. There’s a reason why Dana
White put this weight class in the UFC and we’re going to prove
once again why he did it.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:46:45).