How to make the flyweight division great again
The flyweight division is home to the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Yet, he fights on UFC Fox cards and not on big pay-per-views.
Although Johnson doesn’t flex his accolades like other champions, he has cleared out his division by destroying the top contenders, some twice. Dominick Cruz, Ronda Rousey, Anderson Silva, and Jon Jones have done it. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is currently in the process of doing so at strawweight. The Scrap has gathered a list of fights that are no-brainers when it comes to the matchmaking game. Many great matchups have been booked, however, these are scraps that could make the fans excited about the 125-pound division again.
The fights to make at 125-pounds
With the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world coming out of the flyweight division, more attention and hype should be surrounding Demetrious Johnson and what he has done in this weight-class. Currently, Ian McCall is fighting at bantamweight and Dustin Ortiz vs Brandon Moreno has been booked. Jussier Formiga vs Ray Borg and Tim Elliott vs Louis Smolka has also been announced, so there are some pivotal matchups that need to happen to make the flyweight division great again. These are the fights that are going to create not only contenders, but stars.
(#13) Ben Nguyen vs (#14) Alexandre Pantoja
Although this fight wouldn't put either fighter in the title picture, this would be the perfect matchup to make for the future of the division. This is a critical time for the flyweight division, so this fight would give each man more experience in the octagon and more exposure to create their fanbase. Both Nguyen and Pantoja are coming off wins so I think this is the match to make.
(#4) Wilson Reis vs (#5) Sergio Pettis
Pettis is coming off of a three-fight win streak and so is Reis. Both fighters have gone the distance in their last fights and they have solid a standup game. With a win, either of these men could easily get in the title hunt as Johnson is currently in need of viable contenders. Dana, look into this matchup - we think it could be Fight of the Night. The fans deserve it and it would be one hell of a scrap.
(#2) Henry Cejudo vs (#11) John Moraga
I don't think I could have thought of a better matchup. Both men are coming off losing streaks and both are in desperate need of a win to elevate their careers. If Cejudo wins, he could easily take on a top contender and put himself back in the title hunt. Moraga wouldn't be an easy fight, though. He's fought the best of the best in the division: he's beaten #6 Dustin Ortiz and has scrapped with Joseph Benevidez and Sergio Pettis in the past. A win for Moraga would easily put him in the title picture as well.
(C) Demetrious Johnson vs (#1) Joseph Benevidez 3
No need to state the obvious, Benevidez should get the next shot at the flyweight champion. It's the only title fight that makes sense; especially after The Ultimate Fighter winner, Tim Elliot, received an immediate title shot after the show. Benevidez took on Johnson back in 2012 and 2013. Needless to say, much has changed. He has beaten the only contenders for the belt and after beating Cejudo most recently, I'm not sure what the holdup is. Many of the greatest fights in the history of the sport have been trilogies. Johnson has never looked more human than he did against Elliott, so it would be interesting to see him scrap with Benevidez again, who looked great against Cejudo. Let's run it back, Dana.
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