Already featuring a bantamweight championship rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barão, UFC 177 on Tuesday gained another title bout. MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sports first reported, and UFC officials later confirmed, that Demetrious Johnson would make a quick return from his June 14 flyweight title defense to put his belt on the line in the UFC 177 co-main event against Chris Cariaso.
Johnson (20-2-1) has been untouchable since dropping from bantamweight down to the 125-pound division.
He has fought once to a draw in the initial flyweight tournament, but has since won six consecutive bouts, including four title defenses. Johnson only seems to improve every fight out, never looking better than his UFC 174 defense in Vancouver, where he dominated Ali Bagautinov.
Most had anticipated Johnson’s next defense to be a rematch with John Dodson, but that was before it came to light that Dodson needed knee surgery that would likely keep him sidelined until sometime in 2015.
Having won four of his six flyweight bouts, including his three most recent fights, Cariaso (17-5) then became the next contender. Having reeled off victories over Iliarde Santos, Danny Martinez, and Louis Smolka, Johnson will be a serious step up in competition for Cariaso, but a title shot is an opportunity not to be passed on.