Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, will rematch top contender and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo at the upcoming UFC 227 pay-per-view (PPV) event, taking place inside Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sat., Aug. 4, 2018.
“Mighty Mouse” stopped “The Messenger” when they first went to war back in early 2016.
That victory was part of a record-breaking title run, in which Johnson managed to defend his flyweight title an astonishing 11 times. In addition, his 13-fight win streak is tied with Jon Jones for the second longest streak in the history of the promotion behind Anderson Silva at 16.
A victory over Cejudo will once again leave Johnson as a king without a kingdom.
Not that matchmakers had a bountiful selection to begin with, which is why UFC President Dana White tried to get Johnson to fight reigning bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. And since “Mighty Mouse” was in no big hurry to return to 135 pounds, Dillashaw was willing to cut down to flyweight to make it happen.
Unfortunately, the injury bug had other plans.
“I accepted the fight, I got injured, I had surgery, and they never offered it to me after I got injured,” Johnson said on Wednesday’s UFC 227 media conference call, transcribed by MMA Junkie. “When they offered it to me I accepted, I got injured and got surgery, and then when it came time to fight again, from my understanding, from my management’s point of view, T.J. got offered to fight Cody with a brand new deal, so God bless him for getting a new deal to fight Cody.”
A champion vs. champion super fight is not dependent on a win for Dillashaw, as Garbrandt has also expressed interest in moving down to 125 pounds. That said, a victory for “No Love” would even the score at one apiece and the promotion may consider a championship rubber match.
Unless this ex-champ does something dramatic.
One of the biggest sticking points is price. Johnson, despite his talent and in-cage accomplishments, has failed to move the needle at the PPV box office. It may not pay for the promotion to fork over Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic money for a lukewarm return.
But hey, it sure beats sending Johnson to Bellator.
“If the money’s right,” Johnson said about facing the winner of Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt. “I’ve always been up front about these super fights. Everyone keeps asking me. If the money’s not there and the compensation’s not there, then I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. It’s obviously up to my management to make that happen. My management knows what I want, the UFC knows what I want and for me, I just show up and fight the No. 1 contender in the flyweight division and will continue to do that until something comes to my table that’s appetizing.”
There aren’t a ton of options at flyweight should Johnson win and it’s not like UFC is tripping over itself to give Raphael Assuncao a crack at the bantamweight crown. Johnson is worthy of the super fight and also worthy of the price tag that comes with it.
For much more on UFC 227 click here.