Since Demetrious Johnson has defeated Henry Cejudo before, and because he’s defended a UFC title more times than any other human, calls for him to face the new champ again are making the rounds. But, it looks like injuries Johnson incurred at UFC 227 have put that fight in jeopardy.
Johnson faced Cejudo in the co-main event of Saturday’s event, and his historic reign as the flyweight champ came to an end, via split decision. Although Johnson out struck Cejudo by a 121 to 80 margin, the decorated wrestler took the renowned fighter down several times, and that appears to have been the difference in two of the three judge’s minds.
As noted above, because Johnson defended the 125 crown a record 11 times, if anyone deserves an immediate rematch, it’s him. Especially since he already holds a victory over Cejudo. But, while speaking to the media afterwards, Johnson revealed that he may have incurred a couple of serious injuries during the thrilling bout (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I remember we were scrambling, and I maybe shot, and then he kind of pushed me over, and I rolled over my right knee, and I felt the pop, and I was like, ‘There goes the right LCL – fantastic,” Johnson said. “And the foot was just from kicking and kicking and kicking.”
“It wasn’t like he blew me out of the water,” Johnson added. “First thing’s first. I’m not going to be like, ‘Ah, I want a rematch.’ I need to get healthy first. My health is No. 1, and I’m not going to sign a contract if I can’t get through eight weeks of training camp.”
Johnson will undergo more medical testing soon, and will get a MRI, so hopefully the injuries aren’t as serious as he thinks. But if he does need to undergo knee surgery, then chances are the UFC will move forward with a bout for Cejudo.
The new champ called for a shot at the bantamweight belt, after he beat Johnson, and during the post-fight presser he repeated that desire. But, you have to wonder if the UFC will go that route. Dillashaw has options for challengers in Dominick Cruz and Marlon Moraes at 135, and while Cejudo just defeated one of the greatest fighters of all time, he’s not far removed from a loss to Joseph Benavidez.