If Demetrious Johnson looked like the smaller fighter when he stepped inside the Octagon to challenge UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz last year, that’s because he was.
Now, thanks to the UFC’s decision to add in the flyweight class, “Mighty Mouse” has a perfect home.
Johnson will face Joseph Benavidez this Saturday night at UFC 152 to become the first-ever UFC 125-pound champion.
“This is where I belong,” said Johnson, during open workouts Wednesday. “This is where I can perform to the best of my abilities.”
Johnson went the distance with Cruz that night, but was never able to threaten the champion. He decided to push forward into MMA after seeing a former UFC light heavyweight champion excel on The Ultimate Fighter.
I first walked into Matt Hume’s gym after seeing Rashad Evans on The Ultimate Fighter (in 2006) and I said, ‘I saw this guy who is a wrestler, like me, doing well, and I think I want to try it.
Johnson didn’t know he was too small for the smallest UFC division back then, but “started to believe I would fight at 125 pounds in the UFC,” after they absorbed the WEC and started to feature bantamweights and featherweights.