Alright, it’s time for my last list of rankings for the lighter weight classes. Today we discuss the flyweights. A lot of true mma fans have been following these fighters and this weight-class for some time, even though it has only been in the UFC for a short time.
On February 3, 2009, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) announced they would be adding a flyweight division set at 125 lb, however the division was never instituted. When the UFC and WEC merged, UFC president Dana White indicated that the Ultimate Fighting Championship would likely add a flyweight division in the future.
The UFC flyweight division was officially announced in 2011 with the inaugural champion being decided by way of a four man tournament that began with the semifinal round held at the UFC on FX 2 event in Sydney Australia on March 2, 2012. Joseph Benavidez beat Yasuhiro Urushitani in his semi-final at UFC on FX 2 while Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall fought to a contriversal draw. Johnson and McCall re-matched at UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall on June 8, 2012 with Johnson advancing.
Johnson faced Joseph Benavidez in the finals of the UFC Flyweight Tournament on September 22, 2012 at UFC 152. Even though the “so called true fans” booed the fighters pretty much through the whole fight, it was a very closely contested fight. Johnson would make history by defeating Benavidez via split decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) to become the inaugural UFC Flyweight Champion. Johnson is now expected to face John Dodson on a later date in what will mark the first time the UFC Flyweight title has ever been defended.
Dodson made his UFC debut on December 3, 2011 at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale against T.J. Dillashaw to determine the bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14. Dodson won the fight via TKO in the first round to become the first Bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter competition. He received an additional $40,000 for winning Knockout of the Night honors.
Dodson moved back down to the flyweight division and was expected to face Darren Uyenoyama on May 5, 2012 at UFC on Fox 3. Uyenoyama was forced out of the bout, and was replaced by promotional newcomer and unorthodox striker Tim Elliott.Dodson defeated Elliott by unanimous decision in a very entertaining fight that left fans standing on their feet.
Dodson’s biggest challenge came recently against top newcomer Jussier Formiga on October 5, 2012 at UFC on FX 5 for the number one contendership for Johnson’s newly crowned flyweight championship. Dodson won the fight via TKO in the second round. Dodson is the first Ultimate Fighter alumnus to fight for a title post-season 5.
This division hasn’t been around that long in the UFC, but you can bet the best flyweights in the world will be joining this division to give everyone a run for their money.
These rankings are my reflected on me and no one else.
1. Demetrious Johnson-Current UFC Champ
2. John Dodson
3. Joseph Benavidez
4. Ian McCall
5. Yasuhiro Urushitani
6. Jussier da Silva
7. Darrell Montague
8. Chris Cariaso
9. John Moraga
10. Louis Gaudinot