Demetrious Johnson States He is “Legitimately Happy” For UFC Flyweight Division, Henry Cejudo, And TJ Dillashaw
Henry Cejudo potentially saved the UFC Flyweight division from shutting down when he surprisingly stopped TJ Dillashaw last Saturday after only 32 seconds. “The Messenger” previously dethroned eleven-time champion Demetrious Johnson to win the title at UFC 227 on August 4, 2018.
The former UFC Flyweight king Demetrious Johnson was the champion from 2012 to 2018. Yet, he says 125-pound weight class was “never his division”. (h/t BJPenn.com)
“It was never my division, it’s the UFC’s division,” Johnson told ESPN. “I’ve moved on to bigger and better things, in my opinion. I am legitimately happy for Henry Cejudo, TJ Dillashaw and the flyweight division.
“Once I became part of ONE Championship, that’s where my focus went. But I’m happy for the opportunity those guys got. They deserve it.”
There is one thing Demetrious Johnson especially likes about ONE Championship. The fight is more about the cage skills than the drama, which gets more and more popular in North America.
Since Flyweight division’s creation in 2012, many people believe the drama was missing. “Mighty Mouse” has never been a trash-talker. He feels that the star power in UFC depends on the number of PPV (pay-per-view) buys.
“It’s not about trying to create drama over here,” Johnson said. “I always felt like in the UFC, your star power is based on how many pay-per-views you sell. When Dana White comes to you and says, ‘We’re thinking about getting rid of your division,’ and you’re on your ninth title defense, it kind of makes you wonder. But you never have to worry about that here. It’s a different vibe.
“When you’re not worried about selling a f*cking pay-per-views and just competing… And everyone is happy with it… That’s what it’s all about.”
Demetrious Johnson claims he’d never return to the UFC. Yet, he says the third fight against Henry Cejudo could happen if the current UFC Flyweight king joins Asian promotion.
“At the end of the day, you never know what could happen,” Johnson said. “I’ll tell you what, though, I’ll never go back to North America. So the only way we’d compete against each other is if he came over here. It all depends on what happens in the UFC. A lot of things would have to fall in order, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.”
ONE Championship: A New Era takes place on March 31, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. At this event, Demetrious Johnson (27-3-1 MMA, 0-0 ONE) meets decorated Kagoshima-born striker and KO specialist Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu (10-3 MMA, 0-1 ONE). Eddie Alvarez, the former UFC Lightweight king, will also fight on the same card.
Do you agree that UFC Flyweight “was never” Johnson’s division?