Who’s Next for Pound-For-Pound King Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious Johnson is ready for whoever comes his way next.
Demetrious Johnson is ready for whoever comes his way next.

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson has made a name for himself as being one of the most dominant champions the company has had, behind Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Dominick Cruz and Ronda Rousey, and at UFC on Fox 24 he made history as being the first fighter to tie Anderson Silva’s record of ten title defenses.

Now with that out of the way and the whole fact that he has destroyed the division with almost no competition left we can only wonder who is next for him if there is anyone else left. Well, there is not much that comes to mind, but I have narrowed it down to a few who could be his next challenges.

Joseph Benavidez
Now yes, Benavidez has faced Johnson twice before and lost but we cannot forget his great combination of Muay Thai and wrestling that has made him well-rounded on both feet and the ground giving him a record of 25-4 revealing he has great potential. Indeed, he ended up getting knocked out in their second meeting where the first he lost via split decision, so it is understandable why many might not agree with them going at it a third time, but since their second meeting Benavidez has shown great improvement in his game by adding more speed and cardio to his style that indeed have had a great impact on his performance that could be the key he needs to finally end Johnson’s reign as champion.

John Dodson
Yes, another contender with two losses against the current champion, but why he could be the next challenger is all from his combination of boxing, kickboxing and wrestling that have exposed Dodson’s intense speed and power on both his feet and the ground that proved to be a great challenge for Johnson in both their meetings. Now their second meeting was not as close as their first, Dodson still managed to push forward while not being able to get finished by the champion giving fans the possibility that he still has what it takes to dethrone the champion and finally capture UFC gold.

Tim Elliot
Here is a guy that is no joke and really proved to everyone he was not the same fighter the last time he competed in the UFC when he not only pushed the champion to one of his toughest fights but also managing to take the champion down several times in the fight to the point some fans questioned if he would actually succeed in defeating the champion. Even his combination of striking is something to look at mixed with speed, which is both on top with Johnson and with more training and work on cardio then Elliot could very well prove to be Johnson’s real challenge he has been looking for since becoming champion.

Dominick Cruz
Johnson has been such a dominate champion some people have forgotten he does indeed carry two losses with him and one is against former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who not only defeated him in a five-round fight for the Bantamweight Championship but in the process manhandled the current pound-for-pound king by landing ten takedowns while keeping him at bay. Now a lot has happened since then with Johnson going on to be a dominant champion, while Cruz would receive multiple injuries and end up losing the title after regaining it from T.J Dillashaw after a long layoff. It might seem that Johnson could turn the results around in their second meeting, but Cruz has never been a guy to mess with and now that he doesn’t have the belt he will surely be much more dangerous as he will do all in his power to climb his way back up the leader board.

Cody Garbrandt
The current Bantamweight Champion truly made a name for himself when he dominated Dominick Cruz in a clean fashion that now has many fans believing him to become the next big star the company has to offer. Now he is scheduled to face T.J Dillashaw at UFC 213, it still doesn’t leave out the possibility of him becoming the next big challenge for Johnson with his impressive knockout power and speed that for sure could be a tough combination for Johnson to overcome. But at the same time, it could be his biggest moment to prove why he is the best in the world and maybe even become two division champions like Conor McGregor.

With the little competition, Johnson has left it still looks like he could very well have just enough great matchups ahead to prove to the world why he is considered the best at what he does and there is no one to tell him otherwise.