Now that Demetrious Johnson has taken out Henry Cejudo, and defeated four of the UFC’s top five ranked flyweights, talk about him moving to 135 has reached new heights. Reigning bantamweight champ, Dominick Cruz, however, believes Johnson should stay where he is…
Johnson needed less than three minutes to stop Cejudo at UFC 197, in what was “Might Mouse’s” eighth defense of the flyweight title. Only Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva have ever defended a UFC belt more (9 and 10 times respectively).
So, since Johnson is running out of viable opponents quickly (many would say he already has), there’s been a lot of discussion about whether he should rematch Cruz. The two battled way back in 2011, before there was a flyweight division in the UFC, and Cruz won it via UD.
Recently Cruz appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and he was asked to weigh-in on all the ‘super fight’ talk, regarding Johnson. Here is some of what Cruz had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“If you look at him at 135 pounds, he was beating a lot of people, but there was always a size advantage that gave him trouble that he had to work around. At 125, he has nothing to work around. These guys are his size, they’re his height, and he can use his fundamentals, his technique, and his speed at their fullest potential because of that. When he comes up to 135, things are different. I mean, he lost to me. He lost to Brad Pickett. That’s because of size advantages, and then technique on top of that. So he is good. He’s the best flyweight ever. I agree with that. But, when you’re coming up to 135 pounds, that’s my division. Period.”
It’s hard to argue with what Cruz is saying here. Johnson is unquestionably a better fighter now, than he was when he was fighting at 135, but he is 5’3 tall. “Mighty Mouse” has also acknowledged that he doesn’t have to cut much to get to 125.
While a lot of people would love to see Johnson fight Cruz one more time, for understandable reasons, chances are it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Johnson has said he’s focused on setting a new title defense record, and as Cruz outlined in the aforementioned interview, he has plenty of contenders waiting for him at 135.
Cruz is booked to face Urijah Faber at UFC 199 on June 4th.