SEATTLE – As a new father, UFC flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson (18-2-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC) is all about cashing the biggest checks possible, and he thinks a superfight with either of the UFC’s two current bantamweight champions could provide exactly that. However, he believes there are still plenty of challenges at flyweight, as well.
“I’ve beat the best of the best in the flyweight division, and there are still up-and-comers in there,” Johnson said at Saturday night’s post-UFC on FOX 8 press conference in Seattle. “I know there’s some key matchups coming up pretty soon. … There are still a couple of flyweights out there that I haven’t fought yet, and I wouldn’t mind fighting them. It’s whatever the UFC wants me to do.”
Indeed, Johnson has already made major waves in the still-developing 125-pound division. With previous wins over top-ranked flyweights Joseph Benavidez, John Dodson and Ian McCall, Johnson has yet to lose in the UFC since dropping to the new weight to kick off the division in March 2012. On Saturday night, he earned his second defense of the flyweight title with an impressive fifth-round submission win over John Moraga in the main event of Saturday’s UFC on FOX 8 fight card at Seattle’s KeyArena.
Johnson previously fought at 135 pounds for both the UFC and WEC, so a return to the division wouldn’t be out of the question. But “Mighty Mouse” said it’s not his sole focus, especially with contenders such as Jussier Formiga, John Lineker, Tim Elliott, Louis Gaudinot and others still developing at 125 pounds.
“[A superfight] is just something to throw out there,” Johnson said. “I’m still focused on my weight division. I know there’s up-and-coming fighters who are trying to come up and take what’s mine, and I’ll be there to defend it for the fans.”
But if an interesting fight comes along at 135 pounds, particularly one that might result in an impressive paycheck, Johnson said he’s more than willing to listen.
“I think everybody is focused on Anderson Silva, ‘GSP’ and all those guys,” Johnson said. “But I think we can make some fun superfights down in a lighter-weight division with the flyweights fighting the bantamweights. I know the bantamweights have some things to wok out, and then we’ll see what happens. I’m just here to fight and have a good time and put on a good performance for the UFC and the fans.”
And White, well he’s not making any commitments, but he’s certainly not ruling anything out, either.
“Reporters keep asking me, ‘When’s he going to get the respect he’s due?’” White said. “I think he’s earned the respect he’s due.
“Listen, if Demetrious came and said that he wanted to fight the champion at 135, I don’t know, I’d have to talk to our matchmakers and see what they think, what they want to do. I don’t hate the idea.”
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