Three fights into his UFC flyweight championship tenure, and Demetrious Johnson is already set to rematch a past opponent. ‘Mighty Mouse’ will face Joseph Benavidez, the man who he beat for the title back in Sept. 2012.
The fight will take place on Nov. 30 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight.
Johnson (18-2-1) has successfully defended his belt twice in 2013. In January, he earned a decision win over John Dodson, and after a shoulder injury briefly put him out of action, he returned in July to finish John Moraga with an armbar submission. The win, which came at 3:43 of the fifth round, is notable as the latest stoppage in UFC history.
His first fight with Benavidez was a close affair, ruled a split-decision by judges. According to FightMetric, Johnson landed 96 strikes to Benavidez’s 53.
Benavidez (19-3) bounced back shortly afterward, defeating Ian McCall, and he’s since gone on to two straight TKO wins, over Darren Uyenoyama and Jussier Formiga, respectively.
He had voiced a hope of participating on the Dec. 14 UFC on FOX 9 card in Sacramento, home of Team Alpha Male, but no doubt prefers the alternative offer that came his way.
The TUF 18 Finale will be hosted by the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The only other announced fight so far is a lightweight match pitting TUF alumni Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz, although presumably, the finals of the current tournaments will also be contested during the event.