In just the second flyweight championship match in company history, Demetrious Johnson defeated John Dodson to retain the title at UFC on Fox 6 Saturday night.
Johnson has been one of the most intriguing fighters in UFC since moving to the company after WEC folded in 2010. He started out fighting at 135 pounds, where he had great success right out of the gate.
In his first two fights with UFC, Johnson defeated Norifumi Yamamoto at UFC 126 and Miguel Torres at UFC 130. Those victories earned him a bantamweight championship match against Dominick Cruz.
Like so many fighters before him, Johnson had no answer for Cruz and lost a one-sided unanimous decision. What could have been a deflating moment was actually turned into an opportunity, as Johnson dropped 10 pounds to fight in the new flyweight division.
UFC held a four-man tournament to determine the first flyweight champion in company history, with Johnson, Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez and Yasuhiro Urushitani participating.
Johnson and McCall fought to a draw in their semifinal bout, prompting an immediate rematch. After winning that fight, Johnson took on Benavidez in the first UFC flyweight championship match at UFC 152, winning via split decision.
Now, by defeating Dodson in a championship fight on national television, Johnson has helped to raise his profile and that of the entire UFC flyweight division. It is still in the embryonic stages and needs all the exposure it can get so it can start being in the main event of pay-per-view shows.
Regardless of what happens to the division, Johnson has proven to be at the head of the class in UFC. He is starting to build a strong resume that can make him a star in the eyes of the UFC audience.