The mixed martial arts (MMA) community was thrown for a loop earlier this week when it was announced former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson could be traded to ONE Championship in exchange for Ben Askren.
As one of the very best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport, “Mighty Mouse” reigned atop the UFC’s flyweight division for nearly six years before losing his title to Henry Cejudo earlier this year at UFC 227. Johnson had racked off a record 11-straight UFC title defenses.
In light of the news that UFC would trade “Mighty Mouse” to ONE Championship some of MMA’s finest have stepped up to share their views. Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who is as outspoken as they come, is saddened that Johnson will no longer be competing inside of the Octagon.
“First off all, it’s sad to see Demetrious Johnson go,” said Bisping during a recent edition of UFC Tonight. “This guy trailblazed the flyweight division. He was the guy. He was the face of it.
“Of course, he lost to Henry Cejudo recently but I still believe he’s one of, if not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. So it’s sad to see him go.”
Considering UFC just let go of the best flyweight of all time does that mean the rest of the division is in danger? While the weight class has struggled to produce top-selling talent in the past, there are a ton of good fighters currently competing at 125 pounds.
That said, Bisping believes Johnson’s exit could start a domino effect among the rest of the flyweights.
“Sad to see [Demetrious Johnson leave] from a personal perspective but does this mean the end of the flyweight division?” Bisping asked. “I mean if the UFC are willing to let Demetrious Johnson go — as I say the face of that division — does that mean they’re going to cancel the 125 division?
“Force them to go fight at 135 or force them to go fight for ONE FC out in Asia. Who knows? A lot of questions.”
We’ll have to wait to find out if UFC believes Cejudo can lead the flyweight division into 2019 or if the 125-pound class will be a thing of the past.