UFC ON FOX 9: JOHNSON VS. BENAVIDEZ Date: Dec. 14, 2013 Location: Sacramento, California Broadcast: FOX UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson (-140) Profile: Since losing to bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz in October, 2011, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (18-2-1) has taken over the UFC’s flyweight division with relative ease. Granted, when the UFC created its four-man flyweight tournament, Mighty Mouse and Ian McCall went to a draw, as Johnson faded at the end of a tough fight. He defeated McCall in the rematch, then at UFC 152 Mighty Mouse defeated Joseph Benavidez for the inaugural flyweight championship. Since that win, he’s defended his flyweight belt in two incredibly entertaining fights, taking a decision over John Dodson in January, and then armbarring John Moraga in July. UFC Flyweight Joseph Benavidez (+100) Profile: Joseph Benavidez (19-3) has won three impressive fights in a row since coming off a split-decision loss to flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title at UFC 152. He is 6-1 in the UFC and earned Knockout of the Night honors in his flyweight semifinal win over Yasuhiro Urushitani at UFC on FX 2, but this wrestler and member of Team Alpha Male has come into his own since Duane Ludwig took over coaching duties at the diminutive camp in 2011. Benavidez is far more of a complete threat now, rather than the pure wrestler with good ground and pound in the WEC. Like the last fight with Mighty Mouse, this should be an exciting war. Opening UFC Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Johnson a slight -140 betting favorite (bet $140 to win $100), while Benavidez opened as a +100 underdog (bet $100 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers. This is an absolutely outstanding battle between two of the very best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and I’m super excited to see it play out. Obviously, it’s a rematch, and in the first fight Johnson won via split decision. But since that time, Benavidez has made tremendous improvements in his game, and with Duane Ludwig in his corner, he has looked unstoppable. Credit has to be given to the champion as well, as he has also improved quite a bit, but with the way these two match up, don’t be surprised if we see a new king of the flyweight division crowned after these two go to war in Benavidez’s native Sacramento next weekend.