Demetrious Johnson has always been a small fighter. Now, with the decision to start the flyweight division, “Mighty Mouse” has a home.
Johnson will face Joseph Benavidez Saturday night for the first-ever UFC flyweight title in the co-main event of UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort. Several years ago, Johnson saw Rashad Evans excel on The Ultimate Fighter, and embarked on a career in MMA.
“I first walked into Matt Hume’s gym after seeing Rashad Evans on The Ultimate Fighter (in 2006) and I said, ‘I saw this guy who is a wrestler, like me, doing well, and I think I want to try it,'” said Johnson, during open workouts Wednesday. “I had no idea I was too small for the smallest UFC division back then, but as they kept adding more and more smaller classes, I started to believe I would fight at 125 pounds in the UFC.”
Johnson competed for the UFC bantamweight title last year, falling to Dominick Cruz via decision. He defeated Ian McCall to reach the finals of the four-fighter flyweight tourney.
“This is where I belong,” Johnson said. “This is where I can perform to the best of my abilities.”