The Top Pound-For-Pound Fighter That Nobody Wants To Watch

Published on September 7th, 2015 10:24 pm EST

This past Saturday night, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson easily bested John Dodson via unanimous decision to successfully defend his Flyweight title. This was Johnson's ninth straight win in the UFC.

Demetrious Johnson, by many accounts, is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. Johnson is nearly impossible to beat, as his combination of speed and striking accuracy makes him a match-up nightmare for every other contender in the Flyweight division. Demetrious Johnson has completely cleaned out the division, to the point where the UFC is being forced to put on rematches of fights that Johnson has already won (John Dodson).

In most other divisions, the champion's next opponent is readily apparent after the champion defends his title. Or, at the very least, there will be at least a few names that make perfect sense. In the Flyweight division, however, this is not the case. Much like the Women's Bantamweight division, the UFC has to manufacture a new "contender" for a dominant champion every time around.

Another problem with Johnson? Nobody wants to see him fight. How many times have we seen an arena start to empty before a Demetrious Johnson fight? It's embarrassing for the champion and his frustrations spilled out after UFC 191 when he called fans who left early "idiots". The fact of the matter, however, is that Johnson is just not a draw. The UFC stubbornly insists on booking Demetrious Johnson title fights for main events of numbered cards, and the result is always the same - booing and people leaving early.

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So what does the UFC do in this situation?

There are a few options, including:

1) Relegating "Mighty Mouse" to the co-main event of cards. Perhaps Johnson should be fighting before somebody like Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor instead of headlining a card?

2) Putting Johnson on a "big Fox" show. The problem with this idea, however, is that ratings will likely suffer as a result. I can't see too many people tuning in to watch a "Mighty Mouse" fight on a fall afternoon, can you? Aside form hardcore fight fans, that is.

3) Putting Johnson into a "superfight". Is it time for Johnson to fight TJ Dillashaw in a "superfight"? The problem with this theory, of course, is what happens if Johnson beats Dillashaw to win the Bantamweight title? The Flyweight division would be filled with people who Johnson had handily beat, while the Bantamweight division would presumably have the same problem that the Flyweight division has now. The Bantamweight division, however, has a number of very plausible opponents for Johnson, including Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz, just to name a few. Let's not forget that Cruz already has a win over Johnson on his resume.

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At this point, the UFC and Johnson both need to seriously contemplate the idea of Johnson moving up to Bantamweight. There are a number of problems with this idea, however, so it will be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do.


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