Demetrious Johnson plotting for Memorial Day Weekend fight


The UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson has not stepped foot inside the Octagon since September of last year. After his fifth title defense at UFC 178 against Chris Cariaso, “Mighty Mouse” has been sitting on the sidelines waiting for his next challenge — he has a date in mind.

“I’m shooting for the Memorial Day weekend card, it’s May 23,” Johnson told MMASucka.com. “I’m hoping they get me on there and I’ll be ready to rock and roll.”

His next opponent was to be determined at UFC 183, as John Lineker and Ian McCall faced off. Lineker won the fight on all three judges scorecards, however it meant absolutely nothing, as he came in over weight.

UFC President Dana White made it clear prior to the bout, that Lineker would be forced to move up to 135-pounds because of his inability to make 125-pounds on more than one occasion.

Johnson looks at this in two different ways, it sucks for Lineker as he beat the number three ranked flyweight, but he believes there is still someone else in the division that will get a crack at his gold and that keeps him focused.

“It sucks. John Lineker took it to Ian McCall and it sucked that he couldn’t make weight and he’s going to go to 135 now. I’m sure he’ll have a great career there, but the fight almost meant nothing to the flyweight division. At the same time, John Lineker beat the number three flyweight in the world.

“I’m going to stay focused and wait for the next challenge. I’m pretty sure it might be [Kyoji] Horiguchi – he’s on a little hot streak there. He just beat Louis Gaudinot who’s coming off a year layoff, so I’m focused on myself and I’m training for the UFC to give me a call so I can get back to work.”

The flyweight division’s UFC inception was in 2012, with a mini-tournament. Even though they have been around for almost five years, the general public still considers them “the small guys.”

“I think the division is doing a fantastic job as of right now. I was just in Vegas and everybody knew exactly who I was and the fans they loved it. The fans love the flyweight division fights. I think it’ll take a little more time for everybody to love it, but I think we’re doing a great job.”

UFC Color Commentator Joe Rogan has said on his podcast that he considers Johnson the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. On most rankings, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones sits at the top. In his mind, Johnson believes he is truly the best in the world and he will keep proving that.

“That’s awesome, I love me some Joe Rogan, he’s a great guy and he understands the fight game. That’s awesome being looked at through the media, as being the number one best pound for pound fighter in the world, but it’s how they perceive me. I think I’m the best fighter in the world, I’m just going to keep going out there and proving it.”

In July of this year UFC fighters will no longer be able to wear their own sponsor and will have to wear the Reebok branded uniforms. Johnson has one of the most unique sponsorships in the sport of MMA, Microsoft.

The 28-year-old has been in talks with the Washington based company to continue outside the Octagon sponsorships.

“Obviously with the whole Reebok deal going on, once it hits July, nobody can wear anything they want in the Octagon anymore – it’s just going to be plain Reebok,” Johnson said. “For that, there’s nothing to do with Xbox, but obviously we’re hoping that Xbox can give us a great partnership outside of the UFC and be able to have it activate me going to different events for those guys. I talked to them today and they were asking me to start streaming, because you might get a lot of followers that way. So I’m going to give it a try and see how streaming goes.”

His focus is the 125-pound division, however if the right opponent is put in front of him, a 135-pound super-fight could be in the future.

“I told many people before, with the right person and the right time, I wouldn’t mind moving up to 35. At the same time, I’m focusing on 125. There are a lot of guys down there that are new and up and comers that I want to stay fresh and keep on knocking them down.”

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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of MMASucka.com, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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