UFC Flyweights: Benavidez, McCall, Johnson, and Urushitani Will Bring the Heat
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UFC President Dana White last night announced the arrival of the flyweight division.
A four-man tournament kicks off the division at UFC on FX 2 on March 3 of next year.
Two of the sport's top-ranked bantamweights will drop a weight class in hopes of claiming the promotion's inaugural 125-pound championship.
In the tourney's first two matches, Joseph Benavidez (15-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) meets organizational newcomer Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-4-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and Demetrious Johnson (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) faces Ian McCall (11-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
UFC on FX 2 is expected to place on Sunday, March 4, which allows it to air in the United States on Saturday, March 3 because of time differences.
While it remains to be seen who joins the aforementioned fighters in the UFC's newest division, one thing is certain and it's the fact that they won't lack talent or excitement.
Yasuhiro Urushitani has won five consecutive fights and is the Shooto bantamweight champion.
During his win streak, Urushitani's claimed victory three times by technical knockout.
He has notable victories over "TUF 14" champion John Dodson and knockout artist Mamoru Yamaguchi.
The Japanese fighter has spent the majority of his career fighting in Shooto and he certainly has a stern test in his Octagon debut when he faces Joseph Benavidez.
Demetrious Johnson was scheduled to face Eddie Wineland at next month's UFC on Fox 2 event, but with the addition of the 125-pound division he now faces Ian McCall.
Johnson was most recently seen in action dropping a five-round decision to bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz this past October.
However, the undersized former bantamweight defeated Miguel Torres and "Kid" Yamamoto by decision.
Prior to winning back-to-back fights in the UFC, Johnson won two consecutive fights in the WEC, pushing his record to 4-1 over his past five fights.
Johnson's quickness and ground skills have led him to six submission and three technical knockout victories.
AMC Pankration is the camp Johnson calls home for training, and he'll certainly be looking to derail McCall's championship aspirations.
Tachi Palace Fights Champion.
Ian McCall is on a four-fight win streak with his most recent victory coming over Darrell Montague by submission at Tachi Palace Fights 10.
McCall hasn't seen defeated since an 2009 loss to UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz under the WEC banner.
Jussier da Silva, Dustin Ortiz and Jeff Willingham join Montague in suffering defeat to McCall.
McCall's a perfect 3-0 in 2011 and is considered the top-ranked flyweight in the world.
Flyweight is certainly the correct weight class for McCall. He possesses a strong ground game, which should provide fireworks against Demetrious Johnson.
Benavidez defeats Jeff Curran.
Joseph Benavidez is undefeated in the sport's premier organization and has looked phenomenal since joining the UFC roster.
Benavidez, who trains out of Sacramento, Calif., has won three consecutive fights and was dominant in victories over Eddie Wineland and Ian Loveland. His lone career losses came to Dominick Cruz at WEC 42 and WEC 50.
Benavidez possesses a well-rounded skillset and earned 53 percent of his career victories by submission.
UFC on FX 2 and the start of the flyweight tournament will mark the end of a seven-month layoff for the Team Alpha Male flyweight.
The winners of Johnson vs. McCall and Benavidez vs. Urushitani will square off to determine who will be the organization's first flyweight champion at a date yet to be determined.
Regardless of the outcomes, all four fighters possess fan friendly fighting styles and will bring the heat in order to put on thrilling fights.
For additional information on UFC on FX 2, follow Joshua Carey on Twitter.