Benavidez vs. Johnson: What's Next for Demetrious Johnson?

Andrew BarrCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2012

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Demetrious Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez via split decision at UFC 152 in order to become the UFC's first ever flyweight champion.

It was an exciting back-and-forth bout that saw Benavidez come the closest to finishing the fight, but Johnson was the more consistent fighter. He landed more shots with higher accuracy and dominated the wrestling game late in the match.

It was a tough loss for Benavidez, who is now 0-3 in major title fights, and a satisfying victory for Johnson, who was unsuccessful in his first UFC title fight at 135 pounds versus Dominick Cruz.

Acclaimed MMA trainer Matt Hume once told Demetrious Johnson to quit his job and train MMA full time because he could be a world champion—at UFC 152 that prophecy came true.

So, fresh off his championship victory, what's next for Johnson?

That is difficult to say because flyweight is the UFC's newest division and still lacking in viable contenders. Ian McCall is the only fighter other than Johnson and Benavidez who has any name value, and he lost to Johnson too recently to receive a shot.

What likely makes the most sense is for Johnson to face the winner of the bout between John Dodson and Jussier Formiga.

Dodson is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14 and is 2-0 in the UFC. Formiga has no UFC fights, but has a 14-1 MMA record with his sole loss coming from Ian McCall.

Facing the winner of Dodson vs. Formiga doesn't exactly spell a high-profile title fight for Johnson, but until his division fills out, it seems like his best option.


Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a stand-up comedian. Check him out on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.