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Demetrious Johnson: UFC return date uncertain due to numerous injuries suffered at UFC 227

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

After former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson lost his belt to Henry Cejudo at UFC 227 after six years on top of the division, things only got worse for “Mighty Mouse.”

The former 125-pound kingpin suffered a torn right LCL during the title fight defeat, his first loss since becoming champion way back in 2012. But during a recent interview on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Johnson revealed that after initially fearing a broken foot, there are no busted bones to report.

“There’s no broken bones but there’s still a little swelling,” Johnson told Helwani via ESPN. “I got the MRI results. I have a high-grade partial tear in my LCL. Right now, I’m suffering from pain in my lower calf area ... I can’t even sleep at night. I’m waking up, just sweating in bed. I saw the UFC Performance Institute doctor, the physio therapist, and I have a possible tear in my Achilles into my calf, (but) that’s not for certain. I need to see how high the grade is for the tears,” he added.

As far as surgery is concerned, that depends on the severity of the LCL tear, which should be revealed once MRI reports are confirmed.

“I don’t think I should (need surgery) but it all depends on the severity of the tear,” Johnson continued. “Because when I get MRIs it says hybrid partial tear on the LCL. So is that grade one, grade two or grade three? Typically grade three, you need surgery, grade two is six weeks off and rehab. It’s feeling like a grade two because I’ve had a tear in my left LCL before. In the fight, when it happened, I felt the pop go and the first thing that went through my head was, ‘Oh that’s fantastic, there goes the right LCL.’”

With Johnson’s return uncertain the moment, it could open the door for Cejudo to get his much-desired champion vs. champion showdown against Bantamweight king, T.J. Dillashaw.

Still, it’s not like Henry was in a hurry to grant “Mighty Mouse” an instant chance to reclaim his strap, which gives Johnson plenty of time to heal up to see how the 125 and 135 landscape plays out in the coming weeks and months.

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