For the first time ever, flyweights will headline a UFC card as Demetrious Johnson takes on Ian McCall in the main event for UFC on FX 3. The night of action will take place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida with preliminary fights shown on Facebook and Fuel, while the main card airs on FX.
When the UFC finally added the 125lb division to its ranks, it was kicked off with a four-man tournament. Joseph Benavidez took on Yasuhiro Urushitani while Johnson and McCall went to battle. The March 3rd event took precautions to prevent a draw from happening, but that didn’t prevent a mathematical issue later revealed that McCall and Johnson fought to a draw.
Now, four months later the two will rematch to see who will take on Benavidez for the UFC flyweight title.
Johnson was first brought under the Zuffa banner at WEC 48 in the bantamweight division where he lost a unanimous decision to Brad Pickett. He then rebounded with back-to-back wins in the WEC before being folded into the UFC. He continued his win streak with wins over Norifumi Yamamoto and Miguel Torres. The four-fight win streak earned him a title shot against Domick Cruz, but Johnson came up short in that fight.
Many felt that despite his speed advantage, Johnson was too small for bantamweight and he was encouraged to fight at flyweight. The problem was there wasn’t that division in the UFC at the time. Once it was announced, he jumped at the opportunity to fight McCall in the opening round of the flyweight tournament; ultimately fighting to a draw.
McCall had a brief stint in the WEC, going just 1-2 from September 2007 through January 2009. After losing to Dominick Cruz, McCall realized his natural division was flyweight. He became a staple of Tachi Palace Fights who were building their promotion on the lighter weight classes. McCall was pleading with the UFC to bring in the flyweights and when they did, McCall was one of the happiest fighters announced for the division.
Both fighters are evenly matched as evident in their first fight. What both fighters failed to bring with them was 100% focus. Johnson nearly had the fight finished early on and McCall let up his attack to get the crowd riled up. The question is, who will be able to stay focused this time? Looking at the weigh-in results and pictures, McCall seems the more relaxed while Johnson is looking serious.
In predicting this fight, it is a coin toss. Even the odds makers have this close with Johnson being a slight favorite but not a lot of money can be made on either fighter. With that said, this is Johnson’s second trip to the flyweight division and McCall’s fifth. Now that both fighters have a feel for what the other can really do, outside of watching film, I’m going to have to give the fight to McCall by unanimous decision.
Trackback from your site.