Demetrious Johnson: I’ve already proven I can headline
Demetrious Johnson is just going to be himself.
Just because he’s headlining a pay-per-view for the first time doesn’t mean Johnson, the UFC flyweight champion, will start talking smack in the media, he told UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani.
Johnson defends his belt against Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174 on June 14 in Vancouver. "Mighty Mouse" has been in the main event of FOX events on the regular. This is the first time he’ll be asked to draw money directly for the UFC, but don’t expect him to turn into Chael Sonnen over night.
Johnson said that just isn’t the person he is and he has already proven he can headline an event.
It has been harder for the smaller weight classes to get popular in the UFC. As good as Johnson is — and he’s one of the best and most technical fighters in the world, regardless of weight — his ability as a draw has come into question.
Chances are, though, that if he continues knocking guys out the way he did to Joseph Benavidez in December at FOX UFC Saturday, that all might change.