UFC 174

Johnson vs. Bagautinov: Mighty Mouse Must Consider Bantamweight After Easy Win

December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Joseph Benavidez (blue gloves) during the flyweight championship bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Johnson defeated Benavidez. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Sean ODonnellContributor IIIJune 15, 2014

Demetrious Johnson has been absolutely impressive since joining the flyweight ranks.

He quickly became the UFC's first champion in the new division and has simply dominated since acquiring the title.

After outlasting John Dodson in five rounds, submitting John Moraga, knocking out Joseph Benavidez quickly and picking apart Ali Bagautinov through five rounds on Saturday, Mighty Mouse appears to have officially cleaned out the division.

Brian Stann pretty much summed up Johnson's most recent fight with this tweet:

With lightning-fast footwork, blazing speed, pinpoint accuracy and superior endurance, Johnson is easily the most well-rounded fighter in the flyweight division—and perhaps in the upper echelons of the UFC as a whole.

TJ Grant sure had some high praise for Johnson against Bagautinov:

Nick Newell and Abel Trujillo chimed in as well:

In Johnson's current weight class, a lack of worthy competition looms large going forward.

He's become a fan favorite due to his quick, exciting and well-versed style of fighting, but he needs to be challenged.

That challenge must come from the bantamweight ranks.

There's been plenty of movement atop the 135-pound rankings, as Dominick Cruz, Renan Barao and TJ Dillashaw have each held the title within the past six months.

Johnson wouldn't necessarily have to go right to the top against Dillashaw for a superfight—although that would be extremely entertaining—because of the vast amount of talent residing in the bantamweight division.

Back in December, Johnson was interviewed on the Sherdog Radio Network's Cheap Seats about his thoughts on a bantamweight superfight:

I appreciate it and I appreciate all the love fans give me, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done at 125. I need to dominate and clean out the entire division and then I can start thinking about going up to 135. Like I said, I'm happy to be at 125. I love training hard. I love the weight cut and I love fighting guys that are five-three and five-four.

Well, according to those comments, it's about time for a move.

After all, Johnson is certainly up to the task, according to another comment from his interview: "I think if Dana White was to approach me with a superfight and said, 'Hey, you and Dom or Barao—whoever the champion at 135 is—we'll make a lot of money if you guys do this fight,' [I'd say], 'Sounds good, let's make it happen.'"

Let's make it happen, indeed.

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