UFC 152: Benavidez and Johnson to decide first-ever UFC flyweight champion
Aside from the Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort main event this weekend, UFC 152 will also feature another title bout for the newly created UFC flyweight title between tournament finalists Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.
It’s been a long road leading up to the finals of the 4-man championship tournament.
Benavidez reached the finals with a second round TKO of Yasuhiro Urushitani back in March but the finals were delayed due to a controversial draw in the first round between the other two contenders, Johnson and Ian McCall.
Finally winning that second bout this past June, “Mighty Mouse” now joins Benavidez in the UFC 152 co-main event to decide who will get the distinction of being the first-ever UFC champion in this weight class.
As far as the two finalists go, they both see this bout as the culmination of a lot of hard effort in the sport.
For Benavidez, he’s just glad the fight can finally go down after months of waiting.
“The main goal in my career is to be the UFC champion. I would take that however it comes – but to be the first UFC champion is extra special. If I wasn’t a fighter, and I was just a fan, I would be a fan of DJ. He’s got a great all-action style and I love watching him. My coaches have broken his style down and we got a plan to beat him. My eye is on the prize but I am planning a long reign.
“It was frustrating to wait since February for this fight because DJ had a draw against (Ian) McCall but it was just extra time to get better. Most fighters train when they are fighting, I train to get better all the time. You get better as a fighter when you don’t have a fight but you in the gym – and you’ll see the best version of me yet on Saturday.”
Demetrious echoed those thoughts, and also added that he wants to be in the record books as well – to become the champion of a division that never existed in the UFC until recently.
“I first walked into Matt Hume’s gym after seeing Rashad Evans on The Ultimate Fighter (season two, 2006) and I said ‘I saw this guy who is a wrestler, like me, doing well, and I think I want to try it’. I had no idea I was too small for the smallest UFC division back then, but as they kept adding more and more smaller classes I started to believe I would fight at 125lbs in the UFC.
“This is where I belong. This is where I can perform to the best of my abilities. I want to be remembered as the George Washington of the 125lbs division, the first, the guy who was first in line and everyone else followed. All the hard work is worth that piece of the history books.”
It certainly seems like both men are ready to capitalize on this opportunity. Tune in to UFC 152 on PPV this Saturday night to see which of the two becomes the first-ever UFC flyweight champion.
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