For years everyone tried to tell UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar that he should be fighting at featherweight and that he was too small to be a real lightweight contender.
Now Edgar sits atop the 155lb weight class as the UFC lightweight champion, and has twice defeated B.J. Penn, a fighter held as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport.
As Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson gets ready for his upcoming fight at UFC on Versus 6 where he faces incumbent champion Dominick Cruz, he’s heard the same kind of things told to him.
Most look at Johnson as a very small bantamweight, and a fighter that would probably be best served as a flyweight whenever the UFC institutes that decision.
For Johnson however, much like Edgar before him, it’s not so much the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man.
“I see me in the same boat as Frankie Edgar, like how we’re both small guys,” Johnson said on Monday. “Like the biggest I ever maybe get is 142. If I jumped on the scale right now I’d probably weigh 140, 139 ½.”
Much like Edgar when he went into his first fight with Penn, Johnson is a decided underdog heading into his fight against champion Dominick Cruz.
That won’t stop Johnson from going out there and giving it his 100% effort, and his belief is that if he can perform at his best he can leave Washington D.C. with the UFC bantamweight title.
Ultimately though, Johnson hasn’t given up on a future at 125lbs. As a matter of fact, he’d like to fight at both flyweight and bantamweight if the opportunities were given to him.
“I like it that way because if I were to fight at two weight classes if I can,” Johnson said. “Like if I were to go out here and win that’s fantastic, if I go out there and lose and they bring in the 125, I would love to fight at 125 and 135.”
Johnson is more hopeful however that if he ever competes at 125lbs in the UFC, it will be for the chance to add a 2nd title to his collection after he beats Dominick Cruz and collects the UFC bantamweight title this weekend.