Demetrious Johnson did it again on Saturday at UFC 174, leaving yet another highly ranked challenger choking on his exhaust fumes with astonishing ease.
This time it was Ali Bagautinov starting out game but ending the fight down 50-45 on all three scorecards. The 29-year-old Dagestani fighter came in undefeated in the Octagon and riding an 11-fight overall win streak, but by the end of 25 minutes with Johnson, he looked as helpless as the rest.
Dominance is becoming a habit for the UFC’s 27-year-old flyweight champion. Johnson's unique brand of excellence hasn't yielded monster ratings, but so far opponents have been powerless to reckon with his blend of mobility, versatility and quickness.
Johnson has been the 125-pound titlist for less than two years, and he's already cleaned out the rest of the division’s Top Five. His ability to chew up and spit out top contenders only feeds our view of the flyweight class as a work still in progress.
Depth may be an issue for the UFC’s newest men’s division, but a surprising number of viable contenders still lurk. Here’s a look at several who could still give Johnson a run for his money in 2014.