Will Mighty Mouse lift flyweight from obscurity?

Friday, January 25, 2013

QUICK question: What weight division is flyweight?

If you answered correctly, you are in the minority. As has been the case starting with lightweight, fans do not immediately embrace each new division. However, Las Vegas Sun reporter Case Keefer argues that UFC on FOX 6 on Saturday night could start breaking flyweights out of obscurity, when Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson fight in the main event.

Anyone who tunes in to UFC on Fox 6 Saturday night based solely on the event’s commercials won’t know exactly what they’re watching.

UFC on Fox 6 promos make no mention of Johnson and Dodson fighting for the flyweight championshipt. The spots, many of which aired during the NFL playoffs over the past three weeks, appeared intentionally vague regarding Johnson and Dodson, saying the two 125-pounders were fighting for the “world title.”

The hesitancy with the flyweights needs to end.

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is the champion who’s taking the responsibility of introducing the 125-pound weight class to the masses.

“The UFC has given us this spotlight on national television on Fox,” Johnson said. “It’s going to give me and John Dodson the chance to show the world what we can do and educate the fans as well.”

26-year-old’s fights almost feel like they need a warning label outlining the side effects of watching him flash across the screen and into opponents for 25 minutes. Throw in Dodson, who’s probably second to Johnson for most frenetic fighter in the UFC, and Saturday should be a sight to behold.

Divisions tend to flourish under a dominant champion, and Johnson looks like he could be just that at flyweight.

Johnson has an all-important factor working for him: He’s relatable.

“Mighty Mouse” trained on the side while he held down a full-time job as a warehouse forklift operator for the first four years he was a professional fighter.

“I love working 40 hours a week,” Johnson said. “I love going in and sliding my timecard because, at the end of the day, you owe me money and that’s the way I like it.”

It wasn’t until Johnson received a bantamweight title shot against Dominick Cruz, which he lost by unanimous decision but kept competitive despite a noticeable size disadvantage, that he took a leave from work. It wasn’t until the UFC implemented the flyweight division that he decided to stick with only fighting.

He now spends his time commuting more than two hours round-trip every day from his home in Parkland, Wash., to his gym in Kirkland, Wash. Johnson could move closer, but he’s not the type of guy to run away from his roots.

Those roots now include being the first and only flyweight champion in UFC history, something else he’s not planning on giving up easily.

Read entire article…

Answer: The flyweight division in mixed martial arts – as defined by the Association of Boxing Commissions – groups together all competitors 125 lbs. and below.