It wasn’t long after Demetrious Johnson’s second win over Joseph Benavidez that fans began to express their interest in seeing the UFC flyweight champion climb back up to 135 pounds.
Despite his success, Johnson is not eyeing the move just yet.
“I appreciate it and I appreciate all the love fans give me, but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done at 125,” Johnson told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show. “I need to dominate and clean out the entire division and then I can start thinking about going up to 135. Like I said, I’m happy to be at 125. I love training hard. I love the weight cut and I love fighting guys that are five-three and five-four.”
Johnson opened the year with a unanimous decision over John Dodson. In July he submitted John Moraga with an armbar, and on Dec. 14 he knocked out Benavidez in just 2:09 -- his most impressive performance to date. The 27-year-old Johnson believes he still has plenty of challenges ahead in the flyweight division, though.
“The UFC’s doing a great job finding the new talent that’s out there and signing them,” he said. “There’s great talent. We’ve got a lot of guys on the roster now.”
With all that said, however, Johnson didn’t rule out the possibility of a superfight at 135. UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is set to meet interim champion Renan Barao on Feb. 1 at UFC 169. Johnson wouldn’t mind a shot against the winner, if that’s what the UFC wanted.
“I think if Dana White was to approach me with a superfight and said, ‘Hey, you and Dom or Barao, whoever the champion at 135 is -- we’ll make a lot of money if you guys do this fight,’ [I’d say], ‘Sounds good,’” Johnson said. “Let’s make it happen.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 59:33).