Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson
Division: Flyweight (for UFC flyweight title)
Records: Demetrious Johnson (18-2-1), Joseph Benavidez (19-3)
See it on: Fox, 8 p.m. ET
Outside of Cain Velasquez, I don't see a UFC champion who presents a tougher puzzle than Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson.
Benavidez has punching power. He has cardio for days. His takedowns are tough to resist. His chokes are final. He has the tools, he has the know-how and he has the experience.
And he's not going to beat Demetrious Johnson.
Johnson is a different animal. The footwork and the quickness make him hard to hit, but it can be done. Remember John Dodson's knock-down power against the champ? Dodson may have taken the first two rounds from Johnson when they fought in January. Remember when these two fought the first time, and Benavidez dropped Johnson with a right hand in the fourth round and then nearly locked on a choke?
I remember. But it was all futile, I say. Futile! The cause of that futility is twofold. First is the obvious manner in which Johnson fights, his pure physical gifts. Johnson skitters over the canvas like a water bug, whether it's the first minute of the first or the fifth minute of the fifth. It's almost an optical illusion.
But it's more than just "he's fast." The champ seems to know exactly what the opponent won't expect and when, then fires it all off like a symphony. Takedowns, body kicks, clinch work, punch combinations, submissions and submission defense. He can do it all, he can do it all with blinding speed, and he can do it all with blinding speed when you're starting to wish you were fighting something tall and cool at the after party.
Benavidez is an outstanding fighter. But he has the misfortune of living in a time that belongs to "Mighty Mouse." I may be putting too fine a point on it, but I believe Johnson is badly underrated. Beating Benavidez for the second time may raise is rep, or it may offer more fodder for the "flyweights are boring" set. Either way, you can't touch "Mighty Mouse," literally or figuratively. Give it up for the king.
Prediction: Demetrious Johnson, Unanimous Decision
Scott Harris is a writer for Bleacher Report MMA. He enjoys making predictions and such because they don't require any actual knowledge of anything. There's no accountability. For more information in this vein or to live more fully inside this accountability-free zone, follow Scott on Twitter.