Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will defend his title against Wilson Reis in the co-main event of UFC 201 in Atlanta, Georgia on July 30th.
The surprising match-up indicates just how hard a time the UFC are having in finding suitable opponents for ‘Mighty Mouse’ now that he’s run through the majority of the top contenders in the division, with Reis getting his title shot despite only being ranked at No.8 in the weight class.
Johnson has already defeated all the contenders above Reis on the rankings, except for the current No.3 ranked Jussier Formiga and No.7, Zach Makovsky, but both of them are coming off losses, which ruled them out for the time being.
Reis is coming off a decision victory over Dustin Ortiz at UFC On FOX 18 in January, but had lost to the aforementioned Formiga on the scorecards prior to that.
However, Reis had notched up wins over Scott Jorgensen and Joby Sanchez prior to that, and his overall 4-2 record in the UFC to date also includes a win over Ivan Menjivar.
There’s little to suggest the 31 year-old will have much to offer Johnson however, with the reigning champ now being firmly in the debate for the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter following a 10-fight winning streak in the UFC that incldues eight successful defenses of his 125lb title.
With that in mind there’s been a growing interest in seeing Johnson move back up to the bantamweight division, but Johnson has indicated that he wants to beat Anderson Silva’s record of 10 consecutive title defenses.
A win over Reis will put him one step closer to that, while it’s also known that if he does win, Johnson will then go on to fight the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 24 in December, which will see a new selection of flyweight challengers vying for that immediate title shot.
So, UFC 201 now proceeds with Johnson Vs Reis installed as the co-main event, while a welterweight title fight between Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley will serve as the evening’s main event.