UFC creates 'sudden death' rule for upcoming flyweight tournament

Photo of Demetrious Johnson via ESPN.com.

Not only will the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut its brand spankin' new flyweight division on March 3, 2012, at the UFC on FX 2 event in Australia, it will apparently also debut a "sudden death" round for those fighters booked in the 125-pound tournament to crown a new champion.

Demetrious Johnson, a participant in said tournament who will take on Ian McCall, told TapouT Radio (via Crooklyn's Corner) he signed a contract that included these details:

"I don't know if anybody has said anything about it, and this is the first time I'm mentioning it, is that we (McCall and himself) had to sign for a ‘sudden death' bout. If it goes to three rounds, and the judges can't decide who the winner is, then we'll do a fourth round."

Considering the fact that UFC is crowning a new champion in a new division, it seems likely they instituted this new rule simply to ensure they don't hit any roadblocks along the way.

Like one of those pesky draws.

Really, it's not any different than what they already do on The Ultimate Fighter, albeit with one less round. This certainly isn't a perfect solution, as there are still issues with even this, but at the very least it's a decent safety measure to ensure they crown a new division champion.

Johnson was also asked if Joseph Benavidez and Yasuhiro Urushitani, the other two tournament participants, were made to sign similar contracts. Here's what he said:

"I'm assuming that it's for me and Ian McCall. I can't say if it's going to be for Joseph and Yasuhiro, because I'm not gonna say that the UFC made those guys sign, too. I'm telling you, specifically, that I signed a contract for an extra round on the bout agreement. I'm not gonna say that they did. I'm assuming, in my unprofessional opinion, that they did as well."

As stated, it would seem to make very little sense to have a sudden death round for one of the two fights and not the other. Again, UFC wants to make sure it crowns a new flyweight champion without a big headache.

In all likelihood the sudden death round won't even be necessary.

UFC on FX 2 is scheduled to take place on March 3, 2012, and will feature the semi-finals of the flyweight tournament. Johnson will battle McCall for the right to face the winner of Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro at a later date. No word on whether or not sudden death will be instituted for that bout but it's safe to assume as much.

Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for any updates to this story.

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