Demetrious Johnson has gone from the flyweight division of the UFC as much as the division.
The 125-pound weight category of the UFC took center stage last week, as she has never done during Johnson's six-year reign as a champion. Henry Cejudo defended the title against TJ Dillashaw at the first UFC event on ESPN, and both athletes were heavily promoted before.
At the Brooklyn UFC Fight Night, a champion has kept his belt and the best hopes continue to rise. Here's how Chael Sonnen, an analyst at ESPN MMA, saw the night unfold.
After the victory of TJ Dillashaw, the bright weight champion, the UFC featherweight champion, Henry Cejudo, in the January 19 superfight, for 32 seconds, the two title holders exchanged their places in the standings. MMA ESPN book by book.
Meanwhile, Johnson, who broke away from the UFC for the One Asian promotion of the One championship a few months ago, spent all last week in Japan filming promotional material for One. He says he did not think his old division would move on to anything but joy for Cejudo.
"It's never my division, it's the UFC division," Johnson told ESPN. "I have moved on to bigger and better things, in my opinion, and I am legitimately happy for Henry Cejudo, TJ Dillashaw and the Flyweight Division.
"Once I became a member of the One Championship, it was there that I focused, but I'm happy for the opportunity offered to these guys, they deserve it."
Johnson (27-3-1) will debut with One against Yuya Wakamatsu (10-3) on March 31 in Tokyo, at an event perfectly titled "A New Era". The card will also feature former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
Chael Sonnen is frustrated by the referee who stepped in and ended the Cejudo-Dillashaw bout, and he is pessimistic about the future of the flyweight division.
Few people would take it to Johnson when he felt bitter toward his old home. he was the flyweight division from 2012 to 18, defending at the belt a record of UFC 11 times. However, none of these fights seemed to resonate as much with the public as that of Cejudo Saturday.
But Johnson, 32, said he was completely satisfied with the way things had gone – and it did not hurt that he was exactly where he wanted to be. Fedor Emelianenko, Jackson Quinton, Mauricio & Shogun & # 39; Rua, Mirko Cro Cop – have gained a great reputation in Asia.
"It's not trying to create a drama here," Johnson said. "I've always felt like UFC, your star power is based on how many" à la carte "views you sell, and when Dana White says," We're thinking of getting rid of your division, "and you- Even "Regarding your defense for the ninth title, it leaves you rather perplexed, but you'll never have to worry about it, it's a different atmosphere.
"When you're not worried about selling a pay-per-view fee and you just compete – and everyone is happy about it, that's it." what matters."
Johnson did not even attend the fight in Japan, but he learned the result from his wife shortly thereafter.
For the record, he and Cejudo have a record of 1-1 against each other. Johnson knocked him out in 2016 and Cejudo tied the score with a split decision in August. Johnson said that he would never dismiss a third meeting, but that it should take place in Asia, where he is happy.
"At the end of the day, you never know what could happen," said Johnson. "I'll tell you what, though, I'll never go back to North America, so the only way to face us is if he came here, it all depends on what's going on in the UFC. things should fall in order, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. "