Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson: Final Prediction

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Mixed martial artists Chad Mendes (L) and Joseph Benavidez arrive at the third annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2010 at the Palms Casino Resort December 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Tonight, the UFC's first-ever flyweight title will be fought for between former bantamweight title challengers Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.

Both fighters lost by decisions at the hands of the bantamweight champ, Dominick Cruz. Benavidez enjoyed more success at the weight class after the loss, winning three more fights before the creation of the flyweight division. Johnson dropped to flyweight immediately following his loss to Cruz.

A tournament was announced—Benavidez would fight Yasuhiro Urushitani, and Johnson would fight Ian McCall.

Benavidez knocked out Urushitani in the second, Johnson won a decision over McCall, and the finals of the flyweight tournament were set.

Now, UFC 152 will feature the first-ever flyweight title fight, and these two each have a good chance of taking home the victory.

In a division in which every fighter is lightning fast, Johnson and his speed stand above the rest.

Meanwhile, Benavidez has a crazy amount of power for someone fighting in the 125-pound weight class and will look to knock out Johnson.

Both fighters also have formidable ground games and would appear to be evenly matched in every category.

However, Benavidez was arguably the No. 2 bantamweight when he was in the division, and he went to a split decision with Dominick Cruz in the title fight they had.

Benavidez has power in his hands and a solid submission game, and he is dangerous no matter where the fight goes.

Johnson's best chance to win is to use his wrestling and speed to control and confuse Benavidez, while Benavidez actually has a chance to finish the fight.

Expect Benavidez to win this fight either by unanimous decision or by late submission—and I'll go out on a limb and say if he submits Johnson. It'll be a guillotine choke.

Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.