UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson eyes bantamweight superfight

Esther Lin

SEATTLE --- Demetrious Johnson has a difficult task at hand Saturday when he meets John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8 at Key Arena.

But the UFC flyweight champion admitted Thursday he also has an eye on his future. With superfight talks regarding former middleweight champion Anderson Silva on hold for the time being, Johnson wants to get in on the action.

The way he sees it, a flyweight vs. bantamweight superfight should be on the table.

"Right now my focus is on John Moraga," Johnson said at the UFC on FOX 8 media day. "But I think if everything goes well in this fight and I tackle this challenge with John Moraga, I think everyone is talking about the superfights at middleweight with Anderson Silva and Jon Jones and GSP. And I think if there was a superfight to be had between the flyweight and bantamweight division, when I fought at 135 I thought I did pretty well there, and I think since my time being there, I've evolved as a fighter."

Indeed, the Kirkland, WA-based fighter had a successful run as an undersized 135-pounder in the WEC and UFC before the institution of the flyweight division. Johnson won four straight bantamweight bouts, including wins over Kid Yamamato and former WEC champ Miguel Torres, before he dropped a decision to champion Dominick Cruz in Dec. 2011.

That, of course, was Cruz's last fight, as he's been sidelined with a knee injury. Johnson understands that if such a superfight were to take place, things would have to sort out between Cruz and interim champ Renan Barao first.

"I think, once Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland and maybe Dominick Cruz sort their things out, if Dana White wants to do a superfight with us, talk to us. ... Every time he talks about a superfight with Anderson Silva and GSP, those guys make a lot of money, so, you know, I'm always up for that. This is about doing stuff for fun and tackling challenges and making history. I wouldn't mind being part of the first flyweight vs. bantamweight fight. Obviously they're like, you're smaller than that guy. So what? What's the worst that can happen?"

While Johnson appreciates his place in history as the first UFC flyweight champ, he also says there are still plenty more challenges he'd like to tackle in his career.

"The belt is an achievement, it's a token of what I've accomplished in my mixed martial arts career," Johnson said. "There are things, I want to compete in a big tournament, like an eight-man tournament, like the old fighters. You're going to compete, you're going to fight this one and this one. I want to fight a 10-minute round. I want to fight in a ring. I haven't fought in a ring in so long. There's still a lot of things I want to do in my career."

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