Flyweight Players

Demetrious Johnson taking down Joseph Benavidez to win the UFC flyweight title.

Demetrious Johnson taking down Joseph Benavidez to win the UFC flyweight title.

–Demetrious Johnson started 2012 with a fight against Ian McCall in March. It was an exciting fight, but most felt that Johnson had lost. However, the fight was ruled a draw. In a rematch in June, Demetrious Johnson came back to redeem himself and take McCall’s number one flyweight ranking. In September, Johnson had an entertaining five round clash with Joseph Benavidez. Johnson won four rounds, lost one, and became the first ever UFC flyweight champion. John Dodson dropped down to 125 lbs, beat Tim Elliott and then TKO’d top flyweight contender Jussier “Formiga” Da Silva in a frustrating fight. So to start 2013, “Mighty Mouse” will defend his flyweight crown against John Dodson on January 26, live on UFC ON FOX 6.

–Ian McCall’s UFC debut was an unfortunate case of bad luck. He faced off with Demetrious Johnson in the semi-finals of the flyweight tournament on March 2012. He arguably beat Johnson, and the fight was actually ruled a draw. Due to the stipulations for this tournament bout, a draw would go to a 4th round. However, the commission screwed that up by incorrectly reading the score cards. So we had a rematch in June, and Johnson clearly beat McCall this time around. Joseph Benavidez made quick work of Yasuhiro Urushitani in March in the same tournament, showcasing his grappling and striking skills. Then he lost a five rounder to Demetrious Johnson back on September 2012. Both McCall and Benavidez are top five flyweights, and they will fight one another on the main card of UFC 156 on February 6th.

–Darrell Montague just defeated Mamoru Yamaguchi in Japan this past December. I’ve not been able to find a video of the fight, so I can’t say much about it. Montague was at one point the TPF flyweight champion (at the time, the top flyweight title in America), but lost it to Ian McCall in a fun fight. Since that loss, he’s gone 3-0 in fights against Kenny McClairn, Taylor McCoriston, and Mamoru Yamaguchi. Let’s hope Darrell Montague comes to the UFC soon.

–Brazilian John Lineker came to the UFC with a lot of hype (well, at least as much hype as a 125 lbs fighter from Jungle Fights would get) and he was stopped in an underrated FOTYC against TUF veteran Louis Gaudinot on May 2012. Gaudinot forced him to submit with a guillotine choke. Gaudinot was scheduled to fight Darren Uyenoyama in October, but was forced out due to injury. Lineker bounced back and put on a fantastic performance to defeat Yasuhiro Urushitani in November. No word on who Gaudinot, Lineker or Urushitani will face next.

–John Moraga defeated Chris Cariaso with an arm-in-guillotine in the third round of their December 2012 fight. Cariaso was initially giving Moraga issues with a kick-heavy offensive attack, but Moraga surprised us with a submission against the cage that forced Cariaso to tap out. Moraga came to the UFC in August, was set to face top five flyweight Ian McCall. Unfortunately, McCall pulled out due to injury. McCall’s replacement, Ulysses Gomez was badly KO’d in that fight by Moraga. No word on who Moraga faces next.

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