After the main event of UFC on FX 3, Demetrious Johnson heard his name announced as the winner of a hard-fought battle against Ian McCall. This time, it was no mistake.
Now that he has gotten past the first round, he will take on another former bantamweight from the WEC, Joseph Benavidez, for the inaugural UFC flyweight championship.
The bout will likely take place by the year's end, but that doesn't mean it is too soon to take a look at the pairing. Here is the breakdown of Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson.
Although Demetrious Johnson was able to put McCall down with a big right hand, it may have had more to do with McCall's forward momentum than the power of Mighty Mouse.
The Xbox-sponsored fighter has some powerful head kicks, and a well-placed shin bomb could put anyone at 125 pounds to sleep.
Joseph Benavidez knows how to pack a mean wallop, and will look to do so against Johnson.
Although his TKO over Yasuhiro Urushitani was his first striking finish since 2007, people tend to forget that his powerful punches are what stunned former champion Miguel Torres and opened one of the worst gashes in MMA history.
Demetrious Johnson has incredible speed and an endless gas tank. Similar to champion Dominick Cruz, he utilizes an almost-spastic style of head movement that matches his non-stop in-and-out footwork.
Benavidez is no slouch either, but you can't match the speed of the fastest man in MMA. Benavidez is less evasive of a fighter, so it's no surprise that he doesn't move as much.
Johnson's footwork might be a big advantage, but he tends to get sucked into some dangerous exchanges. If he can stay outside and use his speed to pepper Benavidez, he could win the standup portion of this fight, but that isn't his style.
Instead, Johnson will stand and trade because he has faith in his hands and his chin. With the powerful striking of Benavidez, that could wind up being a gift-wrapped package in the event that this fight doesn't go to the ground.
The contenders for the first-ever UFC flyweight championship have a combined 14 submission wins to their credit.
Aside from a WEC win over Damacio Page, Johnson has been unable to submit an opponent since leaving the regional circuit.
Benavidez submitted jiu-jitsu ace Miguel Torres, but it was after "Angel" was badly hurt from a punch. His most impressive tapout came when he found a way to make third-degree black belt Wagnney Fabiano give up with a guillotine choke.
Neither man has been submitted in his professional career. Could we see a first?
Johnson has strong offensive wrestling, but has been unable to stuff the takedowns of most of his opponents.
McCall was able to work Mighty Mouse to the mat seven times throughout their 30 minutes of cage time, and Brad Pickett was able to use those takedowns to hand the future flyweight his first career loss.
Benavidez was a state wrestling champion back in high school, and has used his takedowns to set up for submissions. Unless Johnson works hard on his defense, Benavidez will put him on his back over and over again when their matchup finally arrives.