It was mid-2017 when talks about a possible shutdown of the UFC flyweight division first floated around. At the time, then champion Demetrious Johnson revealed how company president Dana White coerced him to fight T.J. Dillashaw, with the threat of closing down the entire weight class if he didn’t.
“Mighty Mouse” dropped the title to Henry Cejudo a year later and had since moved to compete in Southeast Asia under the ONE Championship banner. Now completely happy with his new promotion, Johnson says he won’t be affected if the UFC did abolish the division he once ruled over.
“No, not at all,” he said Monday on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show.
Helwani went on to suggest how the current crop of 125-pounders could be potential contenders at ONE. Johnson, however, believes that necessarily won’t be the case.
“Yeah (they could be potential opponents), or those guys could go up at 135,” he said. “It’s not like if they shut down the division, ONE’s just going to be like, ‘Come on guys, come over here.’ I don’t think that’s how it’s gonna be.
“I think ONE Championship’s very selective on the athletes that they bring over to the roster,” Johnson continued. “They want to grab athletes that fit their brand the best. But I’m sure there’s a place out there for everybody to compete. You look at Sergio Pettis, he’s over at Bellator now. You have Rizin, you have PFL, there’s many places.”
Currently the ONE Championship flyweight grand prix winner, Johnson will challenge reigning champion Adriano Moraes at ONE: Infinity 1 on April 10 in Jakarta, Indonesia.