The first time Demetrious Johnson met Joseph Benavidez inside the Octagon, they were fighting to make history. The winner would be crowned the first ever flyweight (125-pounds) champion. In the end, Johnson earned a split decision back at UFC 152 in September of 2012, and he's defended it multiple times since then.
Now, the two meet once as the headlining attraction of tonight's (Sat., Dec. 14, 2013) UFC on Fox 9 event at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California, on network television.
Johnson on why the outcome of the rematch will mirror the first meeting:
"I'm the champion, but when it comes to getting ready for fights, whether there's a belt on the line or not, I'm just going in there to perform and be at my best. I think there could be a little rivalry here. We're going to punch each other in the face and the outcome is going to be the same."
Benavidez explains why things will be different this time out:
"My first fight with Demetrious was for the inaugural flyweight championship. He didn't beat me up. I came closer in the fight to finishing him. It could have gone either way. This time it's going to be a lot different. He's the fastest guy in MMA, no questions asked. But he's just another man. When I go in there, I'm going to put on a really good fight. I don't see it happening any other way than me winning. The way these championship fights are won, you've gotta fight for every inch in there."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 9 fight card right here on fight night (Dec. 14, 2013), starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 5 p.m. ET and then main card FOX action, which is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET.
For more news and notes on UFC on FOX 9 be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.