Moments after defeating Wilson Reis at UFC Fight Night 67, the Nova Uniao veteran, now ranked No. 3 in the 125-pound division, explained that his motivation against Reis was to show UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby that he’s part of the elite.
"I needed to show the UFC that I’m here," Formiga told the media Saturday at the Goiania Arena. "I needed to show that I’m one of the best in the flyweight division."
Winner of his last three fights, including a first-round submission over Scott Jorgensen and a unanimous decision against former Bellator champion Zach Makovsky, Formiga believes it’s time to fight for the UFC gold.
"I believe it’s time, but it’s up to the UFC to decide if I’m going to fight Demetrious or not," he said. "I’m coming off three straight wins, I’m the No. 3 in the division, and you can be sure that I will show my work against Demetrious Johnson."
Unbeaten in nine fights since dropping to the flyweight division, "Mighty Mouse" has defeated five of the top seven UFC flyweights. With John Lineker moving up to 135 pounds, that makes Formiga the only fighter that hasn’t fought the undisputed champion.
"Every fighter has its flaws. He’s a great champion, has a great timing standing, a good wrestling, and is evolving a lot on the ground, but it’s fifty fifty," Formiga said of a potential clash with Johnson. "I don’t underestimate anyone, but I can do a great fight with him in the future."
"Those are guys that I lost in the past and are ahead of me in rankings," he said. "So, if the UFC wants to put me in there against any one of them, it would be a great fight. But there’s another guy that I want to fight, Ian McCall, because he defeated me in a different promotion."