Henry Cejudo made history earlier this month when he defeated Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227 to claim the undisputed flyweight title and stop “Mighty Mouse” from securing his record 12th-straight UFC title defense.
Now the champion of an undervalued 125-pound class, Cejudo is hoping his title reign injects new life into a division dictated by one man over the past five years. While most people around the mixed martial arts (MMA) community agree that Johnson’s track record is enough to land him an immediate trilogy fight opposite Cejudo, especially considering “Might Mouse” defeated “Messenger” via TKO two years ago, Cejudo is making the case that he should fight a new challenger next.
“I would agree when it comes to the statistics side of it,” Cejudo recently said on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show when discussing Johnson’s bid for a trilogy bout. “But at the same time, I know what the UFC’s trying to create, man. I had to wait two and a half years to face Demetrious Johnson.
“I had to wait, too. And it’s also good, too, for our weight class to start new storylines that have noting to do with Demetrious Johnson. We need new storylines in our weight class.”
Johnson, who suffered his first loss at flyweight at UFC 227, will have to heal up before he even thinks about taking another fight. But if the former champion wants another crack at his crown, why wouldn’t UFC oblige?
According to Cejudo, anyone other than “Mighty Mouse” would be a good choice for UFC as the promotion tries to reinvent the 125-pound division and create new interest among fight fans.
“Think about it…let’s just say Demetrious Johnson beats me for the trilogy,” Cejudo said. “Again, that goes back to not building a storyline. I think Demetrious Johnson may agree with me. Just for the sake of our weight class, I think it would be good. I think it would be good to see somebody else, for now, except for Demetrious Johnson.”
If not Johnson then who?
Well, Cejudo has already competed in close bouts with top contenders Sergio Pettis, Joseph Benavidez, and Jussier Formiga, so either one of those guys would work. Pettis and Formiga are currently scheduled to lock horns at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas so the winner could very well fight Cejudo by the end of the year.
We’ll have to wait and see how this entire situation plays out, but it wouldn’t surprise fight fans either way. Johnson undoubtedly deserves his chance for redemption, but the flyweight division hasn’t necessarily flourished under his rule in the past.
What do you think, Maniacs? Who gets the next shot at flyweight gold?