This Friday night in Sydney, the UFC will put on the flyweight tournament that will determine which two men will square off to contest that division’s vacant championship title.
UFC bantamweight staples Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson will be making the overdue drop to featherweight for the tournament, meeting Yasuhiro Urushitani and Ian McCall, respectively. For their previous UFC experience, Benavidez and Johnson are being looked at as the tournament favorites. Though he told MMAWeekly Radio that he hopes to meet Benavidez for the belt, Mighty Mouse admitted that their opponents are tougher than many are giving them credit for.
“If I say, yeah, my side is a little tougher than his, that’s me short turning Yasuhiro Urushitani,” Johnson said. “They’re both great fighters, they’re both champions in their own organizations, and we got two tough guys in front of us. Hopefully me and Joseph get past these two and we’re able to give the fans what they want to see, which is me and Joseph for the flyweight title.”
Johnson does believe the fact that his and Benavidez’s respective opponents will be making their Octagon debuts will play to their advantage.
“Absolutely, it’s an advantage that I guess you can look at it and say that these two guys haven’t fought in the UFC and these two guys are coming from organizations that are not up to the par with the UFC,” he said. “This isn’t my first rodeo, and this won’t be a walk in the park, but the jitters won’t be on my side.”
The flyweight tournament opening round kicks off this Friday night, March 2, at UFC on FX 2: Alves vs. Kampmann from the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.