‘I think he’s skilled’: Demetrious Johnson names who he thinks would possibly dominate the UFC flyweight division
Demetrious Johnson was once the king of flyweights inside the UFC for six years, dominating and outclassing each single one of the crucial necessary contenders available at the time. Alternatively now that he’s combating for ONE Championship in Asia, “Mighty Mouse” has his eyes on one 125-pounder, in particular, that he believes has the most efficient chance of replicating his feat.
“I in reality felt that Deiveson Figueiredo was once that guy,” Johnson suggested MMA Fighting ahead of UFC 277. “He’s athletic, hits onerous, excellent jiu-jitsu. I think the only issue that he had that was once lacking was once merely the conditioning, right kind? He had a hard time making that weight because of he’s merely a big guy. Brandon Moreno was once excellent, great movement, excellent footwork. I thought it was once going to be each a kind of two. Kai Kara-France seems to be love to be doing his issue. Alternatively moderately than that, you will have [Alexandre] ‘Pantoja.’ I think Pantoja is maximum surely the frontrunner.”
Johnson broke the report for plenty of establish defenses in UFC history with 11 right away wins, combating the likes of Henry Cejudo, Kyoji Horiguchi, Joseph Benavidez and Ray Borg between 2012 and 2018. He admits he expected provide UFC flyweight champion Figueiredo to move on a longer unbeaten run, then again that obviously ended at the hands of Moreno forward of Figueiredo reclaimed the establish with a narrow victory at UFC 270.
With Figueiredo nevertheless sidelined by means of a hand injury, Moreno and Kara-France are slated meet for the length in-between championship this Saturday in Dallas at UFC 277. Johnson understands the UFC’s solution to book an length in-between establish combat, then again he disagrees with Pantoja no longer being integrated, in particular allowing for the fact that Pantoja is a combined 3-0 over Moreno and Kara-France. Pantoja is as a substitute slated to fulfill Alex Perez on UFC 277’s main card.
“Even supposing [Pantoja] doesn’t get a lot of love from fanatics and the crowd,” Johnson discussed, “I think he must be combating for the length in-between establish at the moment because of he’s beaten Brandon Moreno and I think he’s beaten Kai Kara-France. … If I had to pick a kind of guys, it’s going to maximum surely be Pantoja. I think he’s skilled. He’s got skilled stand-up, tough as s***, and very good ground.
“If Pantoja becomes world champion, I think I’d have to put — like I discussed, at first I thought Deiveson Figueiredo would be the guy who may also be super dominant and going to triumph over everybody, then again obviously he merely out of place. Now, if Pantoja becomes the champion, I think that he would be the most dominant. Alternatively, at the end of the day, it’s no longer about winning the fights — it’s about staying healthy, making weight, making it to the combat.
“People don’t know how onerous that is, merely that phase right kind there,” Johnson endured. “When I did it, it took me six years to get 11 consecutive establish defenses, so it’s a longer span of time to be consistent and show up and combat a brand spanking new challenger each single time.”
On the newest episode of MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca, Pantoja discussed he feels “very venerated” to be regarded as like that by means of a UFC legend.
“If I would possibly do a part of what this guy has already completed, it’s going to be very good to me,” Pantoja discussed. “I like this man such a lot. Not best his fights — he’s proved to have the most efficient conceivable combat IQ, is a family man, and always keeps his toes on the ground. Everything he’s completed to get at the stage he is — man.
“And I trust him that Deiveson generally is a highest establish, then again I think he out of place himself along the easiest way. I think he had the entire thing to be that guy, then again something went unsuitable for Deiveson on his way. I gained’t say that he’s had an easy path to the belt, then again he perhaps he’s out of place his hunger after becoming champion.”
Figueiredo moreover agreed with Johnson when in terms of his non-public largest issue being a “onerous time making that weight,” then again nevertheless sees himself as the one to dominate the flyweight division shifting forward.
“He’s dead unsuitable,” the Brazilian champion discussed of Johnson’s comments on a modern episode of Trocação Franca. “If I’m 100-percent centered, recreational assured that it gained’t be easy for somebody to take the belt transparent of me in this division. I merely need to have my weight underneath keep an eye on, because it always goes up after the combat. With that underneath keep an eye on, I’ll be 100-percent ready to combat whoever that is and give protection to what is mine.
“Demetrious Johnson has always stored himself mild, he’s very transient, so it’s easy for him to make 125. It’s onerous for me because of I’m higher than him and I have to make 125. I have to stay serious about my weight scale back and stay lighter always so it’s no longer a sacrifice.”