While nothing is set in stone, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson has expressed an interest in fighting this April, likely against #3 ranked UFC flyweight Henry Cejudo. The possibility of the match-up and its timing was reported by Ariel Helwani on this week’s episode of UFC Tonight.
If the fight can be made in the timeline suggested by the champion, there is a chance the two men could face each other at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. UFC has a date scheduled in the venue for April 23, 2016, but there are still legal hurdles to navigate before it can occur. Professional MMA is still outlawed in New York, so legislation allowing the show to go forward is necessary before any plans can become reality.
However, if the promotion can succeed in holding the event and decides to give Cejudo a shot at “Mighty Mouse’s” title, the championship bout would be one of the most anticipated in the division’s short history. Johnson (23-2) hasn’t lost since challenging for the 135 lbs. title in 2011, and has essentially cleaned out the flyweight division during his reign as champion. He is on a 9-fight winning streak, and has defended his belt 7 times, bringing him close to Anderson Silva’s all-time UFC record of 10 title defenses. Johnson last stepped into the cage against John Dodson in September of 2015, taking the contest by unanimous decision.
Cejudo (10-0, 4-0 UFC) likely represents the only remaining legitimate threat at dethroning Johnson, at least int he eyes of the public. A fight between Johnson and the undefeated, former Olympic gold medalist has the potential to garner more attention than any other 125 lbs. championship bout to come before it, and would serve well as, at least, a co-main event, especially if the MSG show gets the green light to go forward. Cejudo passed his toughest test yet in MMA last November when he pulled in a unanimous decision victory over the highly ranked Jussier Formiga, and appears ready to try his hand against Johnson.
If all of the pieces fall into place, we could see the two top flyweights facing off as early as this spring.
Check out our latest podcast episode featuring Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports.