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UFC on FX 5: Breaking Down the Flyweight Division's Contenders

Matt JuulContributor IIIOctober 12, 2016

UFC on FX 5: Breaking Down the Flyweight Division's Contenders

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    Friday's UFC on FX 5 will have huge title implications for the flyweight division.

    Former The Ultimate Fighter winner John Dodson will take on top-ranked 125-pounder Jussier Formiga (formerly Jussier da Silva) in a top contender matchup, with the winner set to face the newly crowned, inaugural champ Demetrious Johnson.

    In such a young division, the flyweights actually have a ton of potential title challengers ready for their shot at UFC gold.

    Let's take a look at how the division's contenders stack up.

5. Louis Gaudinot

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    TUF alum Louis Gaudinot has a flair for the theatrics, always putting on exciting fights whenever he enters the Octagon.

    Dropping down to flyweight after a tough loss to Johnny Bedford at bantamweight last year, Gaudinot seems to have found his stride at 125.  In his last outing, the green-haired 125er took home a Fight of the Night award, choking out John Lineker in May.

    Gaudinot is still a budding prospect in the division, but he has the potential to rise to the top quickly with another impressive win.

4. Jussier Formiga

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    For years, Jussier Formiga has been touted as a top-three flyweight among MMA pundits, and he will finally get a chance to shine in the UFC when he takes on John Dodson at UFC on FX 5.

    Formiga is a slick submission artist hailing from Team Nova Uniao and has only one loss in his career—a close decision loss to Ian McCall last year.  Owning wins over a ton of top tier 125ers, Formiga is an instant threat in the UFC's flyweight division.

    If he can get past the energetic Dodson Friday night, he will take the top contender spot and will be an interesting matchup for champ Demetrious Johnson.

3. John Dodson

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    TUF season 14 winner John Dodson has been nothing but impressive since joining the UFC.

    After winning the show, fighting in a weight class higher than usual, Dodson made the switch down to his natural division and found instant success.  The athletic and skilled "Magician" took out promotional newcomer Tim Elliot this past May, showcasing his immense talent at flyweight.

    A win over Formiga will cement Dodson as a legitimate contender at 125 and will make for an action-packed matchup against the inaugural champ Demetrious Johnson.

2. Ian McCall

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    Former Tachi Palace Fights champ Ian McCall suffered a huge setback during the UFC's flyweight tournament, unable to get past Demetrious Johnson in the semifinals.

    "Uncle Creepy" almost made his way into the finals in their first meeting, but a judging error that resulted in a draw forced a rematch between McCall and "Mighty Mouse."

    Johnson would go on to defeat McCall, eventually becoming the champ, forcing "Uncle Creepy" back to the drawing board.

    Despite the setbacks, McCall is still a top-tier flyweight and could be a fight or two away from finally getting a shot at UFC gold.

1. Joseph Benavidez

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    So close, yet so far away.

    Joseph Benavidez lost a close split-decision to Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152, letting the inaugural flyweight belt slip through his fingers.

    Despite the loss, Benavidez is still the number two 125er in the world and could very well beat the champ in a rematch.  His heavy hands, quick feet and great wrestling are virtually unmatched by any of the other contenders in the division.

    A win over the likes of a McCall or another top five flyweight could earn Benavidez another shot at UFC gold.

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