UFC on Fox fight card primer: Demetrious Johnson vs Joseph Benavidez

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the main event: Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez for the UFC Flyweight title.

In the main event at UFC on Fox 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2, UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (18-2-1 MMA; 6-1-1 UFC) faces challenger Joseph Benavidez (19-3 MMA; 6-1 UFC) in a much anticipated rematch. This five round title fight caps off the four fight main card live on Fox. The UFC Rankings have Benavidez as the #1 contender at Flyweight, with champion Johnson at #7 on the Pound for Pound list. UFC on Fox 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 airs live from Sacramento, California Saturday, December 12 with a fight time of 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT for the main card on Fox.

This rematch is a fight you had to have seen coming. Johnson and Benavidez have dominated the UFC Flyweight division, going a combined 8-1-1 at 115 lbs. That lone loss is, of course, Benavidez losing to Johnson in the first ever UFC Flyweight title fight last September. That fight was a razor thin split decision. You have to think that this one is going to be another great, close fight.

How do these two stack up?

Johnson: 27 years old | 5'3" | 66" reach
Benavidez: 29 years old | 5'4" | 65" reach

What have these two done recently?

Johnson: W - John Moraga (Sub) | W - John Dodson (UD) | W - Joseph Benvidez (SD)
Benavidez: W - Jussier Formiga (TKO) | W - Darren Uyenoyama (TKO) | W - Ian McCall (UD)

How did these two get here?

The UFC's inaugural Flyweight champion, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson has been increasingly impressive in his 3 title fights, and looks to make it #3 tonight. With his combination of speed, striking, wrestling, and strategy masterminded by trainer Matt Hume, Johnson is a formidable threat. That said, the two losses on his career (plus the one draw) have all come as a result of the same thing - takedowns. In the past, Brad Pickett, Dominick Cruz, and Ian McCall have all managed to take Mighty Mouse down and find success. It will be interesting to see if Benavidez tries that approach here.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC on Fox 9

Joseph Benavidez is a Team Alpha Male fighter through and through. He brings to the table tremendous cardio, strong wrestling, and significantly improved striking under the tutelage of Duane "Bang" Ludwig. The only blemishes on his otherwise flawless record come against Johnson and Dominick Cruz, and he has run through everyone else he has met. Here, he will try to get over the Team Alpha Male curse of winning contender fights, but losing title fights, finally bringing the team back home the gold they have missed since Urijah Faber's WEC run.

Why should you care?

Super, super close fight here between the undeniable #1 and #2 in the division. I'm really excited for this.

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