UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson put on quite a show at last weekend’s UFC on Fox 9, knocking out consensus number one contender Joseph Benavidez with a vicious right hand.
The win gave Johnson three straight title defenses since obtaining the inaugural 125-pound belt over Benavidez at UFC 152. It’s also given him respect in the rankings, as “Mighty Mouse” has risen two spots to land at the number five spot in the pound-for-pound rankings. Here’s the updated top ten:
1.) Jon Jones
2.) Jose Aldo +1
3.) Anderson Silva +1
4.) Cain Velasquez +1
5.) Demetrious Johnson +2
6.) Renan Barao
7.) Anthony Pettis +1
8.) Chris Weidman +1
9.) Benson Henderson +1
10.) Ronda Rousey*NR
Part of that rise is due to everyone rising one spot following former longtime welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre’s withdrawal from the sport. But there’s no denying “Mighty Mouse” is at the top of his game and seemingly getting better.
With rising flyweight contenders John Lineker and Ali Bagautinov rumored to face off at February’s UFC 169, there really isn’t a logical choice for Johnson’s best opponent.
He’s beaten all four of the top contenders in Benavidez, Dodson, Moraga, and Ian McCall. The only one of those fighters who had a chance at beating Johnson was McCall, who took “Mighty Mouse” to a draw at UFC on FX 2 in March 2012. But Johnson avenged that close call by defeating McCall just three months later.
Women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey also made her way onto the P4P top 10. She will defend her belt against archrival Miesha Tate in the co-main event of UFC 168 on December 28.
Number three-ranked Anderson Silva will face off with number eight Chris Weidman on the event’s headlining bout, but there will be more than rankings implications on the line in that clash. Will another Weidman victory have “Mighty Mouse” rising further up the pound-for-pound list?
Photo: Kyle Terada for USA TODAY Sports