UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will put his belt on the line against Kyoji Horiguchi on April 21 at UFC 186 in Montreal. This fight will replace the fight between Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard, which was previously set to be the co-main event on the card. UFC has not officially announced their reason for taking the fight off the card completely, but we certainly expect to hear an explanation soon.
Johnson (21-2-1) is looking to defend his Flyweight title for a sixth time after defeating Chris Cariaso in the second round via submission last September. Johnson has been utterly dominant in his class, overpowering the likes of Ian McCall, Joeseph Benavidez, John Dodson, John Moraga, and Chris Cariaso.
Horiguchi (15-1) is 4-0 in UFC, recently defeating Louis Gaudinot at UFC 182 by unanimous decision. The big question here is: Does the 24-year old Horiguchi deserve a title shot so early in his UFC career? This kid is relatively unproven. I will admit that when we have seen him fight, he’s been impressive and very successful, but still I think it would have been nice to see him prove himself in a bigger fight against an Ian McCall or Joseph Benavidez before we see him in the ring with such a dominant champ like Johnson.
An argument could definitely be made that there are other fighters in this weight class more deserving and more capable of taking on Johnson as he looks to extend his seven-fight winning streak. Is the champ dodging these more capable fighters to pad his record? If so, why would he feel the need to do so? Its very uncharacteristic of a title holder with the reputation and skill level of Johnson to fight anyone but the best in the division. If Johnson emerges victorious, as he most certainly is expected to, no one will be very surprised or impressed. But if the champ falls to this unproven fighter from Japan, it will be sure to tarnish his record much more than if he were to lose to a top contender. There’s just too much risk for too little reward in this fight if you ask me.
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