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UFC 197: Demetrious Johnson Questions Granting Henry Cejudo a Title Shot

Kelsey Mowatt

Demetrious Johnson

Henry Cejudo arrived in the UFC with a ton of buzz behind him, that tends to happen with Olympic gold medalists, but has he earned a title shot? Demetrious Johnson doesn’t seem to think so…

Following Cejudo’s split decision win over Jussier “Formiga” last November, the decorated wrestler has been booked to fight the flyweight champ Johnson, on April 23rd. The scrap will co-headline UFC 197.

The win over “Formiga” was Cejudo’s fourth straight with the UFC, and followed victories over Dustin Kimura, Chris Cariaso and Chico Camus.

Recently Johnson was in attendance at EA Sports’ UFC 2 launch, and while discussing Cejudo’s title shot, the champ stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com):

“There’s guys out there who have fought way tougher competition and have finishes and knockouts on their résumé,” Johnson said. “But since he’s a gold medalist in Olympic wrestling, he’s undefeated … the man is about to fight for a world title and it’s his fourth fight in the UFC. That’s how the business runs.”

“…The man has 10 fights in his total career,” Johnson added later in the story. “That shows you how fast you can jump and get to the pinnacle of this sport real, real fast. I’ve been here for a long, long time.”

How about that huh? Is it just me? Or has Johnson really started to open up with the comments in recent months?

Now, even the biggest Cejudo booster would have to agree with some of what Johnson has said here. Of the current top 15, 125 rankings, the only contender Cejudo has defeated is “Formiga”. But, the reality is that because Johnson is so ridiculously good, he’s defeated four of the top five contenders already. In the case of Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson, he’s handed them losses twice each.

So, going with Cejudo makes sense, and as Johnson alluded to, it’s good business as well.

UFC 197 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and will feature Daniel Cormier – Jon Jones II.

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