LOS ANGELES — Demetrious Johnson has been so far above the rest of the flyweight division over the past five years that there have been several spans in which there was no clear-cut No. 1 contender worthy of the next shot at the 125-pound champion.
But should Johnson get past Ray Borg on Saturday at UFC 216, which would mark his UFC record-setting 11th consecutive title defense, there’s a ready-made next contender in line this time.
Henry Cejudo is slated to meet Sergio Pettis at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit, and Johnson believes the winner probably deserves next.
Pettis (16-2) is 6-1 over his past seven outings and takes a four-fight win streak into the bout. His most recent win, over Brandon Moreno, was his first five-round main event victory in the UFC.
“With Pettis, he’s on a three-fight win streak,” Johnson said at a Monday media event promoting UFC 216. “So if he wins this fight, he’s the No. 1 contender in the flyweight division, he’s got four fights in a row I mean, I can’t think of another athlete … who won as many in a row. We’ll see what happens.”
In the case of Cejudo (11-2), Johnson already finished him in under three minutes at UFC 197. But Cejudo had a tremendous performance in his second-round knockout of Wilson Reis at UFC 215, and Johnson believes an impressive win over Pettis would justify a rematch.
“I think Henry looked real good in his last fight,” Johnson said. “I feel bad for Wilson, man. He walked right into the cross, he didn’t do what a southpaw should do, he walked right into the cross. I feel bad for the guy. With Sergio Pettis, I think Sergio Pettis has more of a style that will give Cejudo more of a well-rounded look for me to fight.”