UFC President Dana White hasn’t booked the fight just yet, but he’s leaning toward a rematch for flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson‘s next outing.
And that’s whether or not “Mighty Mouse” is actually interested in fighting John Dodson again or not.
“Too bad if Demetrious doesn’t like that fight,” White told UFC.com. “That’s the fight he’s probably looking at. No doubt about it, that is (potentially) one of the premier matchups in the UFC this year.”
Johnson, of course, fought this past weekend at UFC 174, where he whitewashed Ali Bagautinov in an impressive defense of the 125-pound title. One week earlier, Dodson again proclaimed himself the division’s No. 1 contender slot with a third-round finish of the gritty John Moraga.
At UFC 174's post-event press conference, Johnson said he was open to a rematch with Dodson but was quick to point out there are plenty of other viable contenders at flyweight, as well.
“There’s a lot of challenges in this weight class that I need to fight,” Johnson said. “Dodson, I overcame him; he’s a challenge. But there are plenty of guys; there’s a guy in the division who has a win over me. There’s Zach Makovsky, so I’m just looking for new challenges.”
Johnson (20-2-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) and Dodson (16-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) met in January 2013. It was actually Dodson who raced out to an early lead, but Johnson battled back to claim the final three rounds and score a unanimous-decision win.
Johnson, of course, qualified his statement by insisting he wasn’t trying to steer clear of Dodson but simply wanted fans and media, alike, to understand the challenges that exist at 125 pounds.
“I’m not trying to avoid that fight,” he said. “Obviously, it’s up to the UFC to make that decision. The reason why I say that is because this division is rich with great athletes and great fighters, and many of you guys know that Dodson isn’t the only person in this division.”
White said he understands Johnson’s logic but that he likely needs to get ready for a rematch.
“(Johnson) looked amazing, and he looks better every time he fights,” White stated. “He’s a guy that’s building a division. He’s building that division for us. I love the Johnson-Dodson fight.”
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson)