Johnson was the first and longest-reigning champion in the UFC’s 125-pound weight class. Since his departure, observers have questioned how the division has been managed and the matchmaking involving the title. Many complaints revolve around Henry Cejudo, the man who dethroned Johnson. Cejudo made his first defense of the flyweight championship against former bantamweight titleholder T.J. Dillashaw, instead of someone from within the division. Further muddying the waters, Cejudo will attempt to capture the vacant 135-pound championship when he meets Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 in June, leaving the rest of the flyweight class in a state of limbo.
“Mighty Mouse” sees no issues with the matchmaking.
“I think the division is doing great, [and] I think Henry Cejudo is doing a great job,” Johnson told Sherdog.com. “I think the division is in a great spot.”
Johnson understands those who believe Cejudo should either defend the flyweight title or vacate it and move up to 135 pounds permanently. However, he also has the perspective of a prizefighter and respects Cejudo’s decision if he wants to try and make as much money as possible in a finite career.
“At the end of the day, the athlete’s got to make as much money as possible,” Johnson said. “I’ve been there before. I’ve been defending champion 11 consecutive times, but I still wasn’t getting the pay I wanted. Maybe if I had went up and fought at bantamweight -- [and been] a dual-weight champion --maybe I would have had more say [in what he earned], so that’s probably what Henry Cejudo’s thinking.
“You can’t tell an athlete what’s best for his career, because he knows,” he added. “He knows what he’s [getting paid] and he knows where his heart lies. It’s a very short amount of time he has in his career, and he wants to make the best of it.”