A flyweight title fight between reigning champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson and Chris Cariaso has been announced for UFC 177 in California on August 30th.
That means there’ll be two titles on the line at the pay-per-view event, with new bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw also looking to make the first defense of his belt in a headlining rematch with it’s former owner Renan Barao, while Johnson Vs Cariaso will serve as the co-main event.
Johnson has already beaten a who’s who of the UFC’s 125lb weight class since dropping down to the division in 2012, racking up six wins in a row and defending his title four times along the way.
That leaves something of dilemma for the UFC as to who to pair him up with next. The obvious choice had appeared to be John Dodson who came him a run for his money when they last fought at a UFC On FOX event in January of last year.
However, Dodson damaged his ACL in training recently and could be out for as much as a year, so the UFC have had to come up with an alternative match-up to keep the ball rolling, and that gives the No.8 ranked Chris Cariaso a golden chance to fight for the title.
Cariaso has been plying his trade in the UFC since 2011 and comes into the fight on a three-fight winning streak and an overall 7-3 record inside the Octagon.
Johnson’s last title defense against Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174 last month is believed to have produced the weakest UFC pay-per-view buy rate in modern times with reports ranging from 100,000 – 125,000 sales, and so with this next flyweight title bout looking weaker on paper it makes sense that it serves as a co-main event rather than taking on headline duties.