Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez 2 Set for TUF 18 Finale Nov 30

Damon Martin@@DamonMartinContributor ISeptember 18, 2013

September 22, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Joseph Benavidez (left) fights  Demetrious Johnson in the flyweight championship during UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was the first-ever fight for the UFC flyweight title, and now both the original champion and challenger will get back in the Octagon to do it again.

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson will make his next title defense against the man he defeated to capture the belt, Joseph Benavidez. The two fighters have agreed to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale slated for November 30 in Las Vegas, according to a report from UFC Tonight.

Johnson and Benavidez first met at UFC 152 in September 2012 to crown the first-ever flyweight champion after a four-man tournament took place earlier in the year. When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, Johnson stood tall as champion after winning a close decision.

Since that time, both fighters have won all their subsequent bouts in the division.

Johnson has gone on to defend his flyweight title on two occasions. He picked up a decision victory over John Dodson in January and most recently submitted John Moraga in his hometown of Seattle at UFC on Fox 8 in July.

In his last fight, the champ put on a nearly flawless performance as he dominated Moraga en route to a fifth-round armbar finish.

Meanwhile, Benavidez has done everything necessary to get back into the title picture since losing to Johnson last year.

The former WEC contender has gone on a blistering run of late with three wins in a row. He defeated Ian McCall by decision to start the run and then smashed Darren Uyenoyama and Jussier Formiga in back-to-back fights by TKO.

Under the tutelage of coach Duane "Bang" Ludwig, Benavidez has been reborn as a new fighter along with his teammates at Team Alpha Male, and he'll get the chance to prove that when he faces Johnson in November.

The bout between Johnson and Benavidez will headline the stacked card headed to Fox Sports 1 on Nov. 30. In addition to the main event, Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz will meet for the third time in a lightweight showdown, while the final fights in the men's and women's bantamweight divisions from The Ultimate Fighter will also take place on the card.


Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.