Demetrious Johnson Fancies Henry Cejudo’s Chances Against Deiveson Figueiredo

Referee Mike Beltran raises Henry Cejudo's hand while Demetrious Johnson looks down with disappointment at UFC 227

Arguably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (30-3-1), gave his thoughts on Deiveson Figueiredo and his chances against the former simultaneous two-division champ, Henry Cejudo.

Demetrious Johnson was crowned the first flyweight champion when he won a four-man tournament on June 8, 2012. He reigned as the champion till UFC 227, where he lost the belt to Henry Cejudo (16-2) via a split decision. After that defeat, Johnson was traded to ONE Championship for Ben Askren.

Since then, he has racked up 3 consecutive wins and earned a title shot against ONE Championship’s reigning 135 pounds champion, Adriano Moraes. This fight will go down on April 7, 2021, on TNT.

Demetrious Johnson ONE Championship Highlights

Ahead of the bout, Johnson, along with fellow ONE Championship fighter Eddie Alvarez, caught up with former UFC heavyweight Brandon Schaub and discussed — among other things — the UFC’s flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and the former dual-champion, Henry Cejudo.

Right off the bat, Demetrious Johnson praised Figueiredo for his physical attributes and his last fight against Brandon Moreno, which was an all-out war.

“He’s a great athlete, Johnson said. “Big, big, for the 125. He can fight at 135 too, has a lot of power, great grappler too. The last fight between him and Brandon Moreno was phenomenal. And I would love to see Henry Cejudo get back in there and excite things.”

Demetrious Johnson on a Potential Matchup Between Cejudo and Figueiredo

Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) is known for his ridiculous power, durability, and the ability to march down his opponents. But Johnson feels this won’t be enough to topple someone like Henry Cejudo, who he considers to be on a different level.

“There’re levels to this game, right? And Henry Cejudo, he’s a competitor. Obviously, I’ve shared the cage with him on two occasions, and he has the gamesmanship to be able to go out there and figure it out. There’re athletes in this game, there’re great fighters, and there’s a different level where it’s like, ‘Okay, this is where you do well. I’m not gonna put you where you’re strong at.’

“He has the element of power, he can grapple, he has good conditioning. But he goes by his fights differently. He uses his power. He’s not smooth and moving… He’s walking forward where it’s like, there’re takedowns — I mean, I can break down analysis like that! I feel like Henry Cejudo can have that mindset when he fights him.”

UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo (black shorts) head kicks Brandon Moreno (green shorts) at UFC 256
Deiveson Figueiredo attempts to head kick Brandon Moreno

The flyweight division has had a rough history. Although it has some of the most talented fighters, the division was on the verge of getting scrapped for not attracting enough eyeballs. Fortunately, that did not happen, as fighters like Cejudo and Figueiredo put on impressive performances and forced UFC President Dana White to keep the division alive.

Johnson was one of the best technical fighters in the UFC. Unfortunately, his fighting style did not suit the taste buds of the casual fans.

So, what makes Deiveson Figueiredo exciting?

Per “DJ,” Figueiredo is finishing fights as he did but with a different style.

“He [Figueiredo] is knocking dudes out,” Johnson continued. “I’m submitting people, throwing people in the air, catching in the armbar, and all that stuff, finishing people. So, we’re both finishing people. It’s all gonna be down to — [whether] the casual fan’s gonna catch on, right?

“Because the hardcore fans are gonna watch the fight. They’re gonna figure out a way to get it. Whether it’s going behind the scenes… It’s always about — are they gonna generate enough pay-per-view buys in order to justify it, right? Because It wasn’t like when I was there I was going to decisions. I was starching people. So, it’s the same thing. He’s doing it in a different fashion.”

It may be noted that Demetrious Johnson had 18 fights in the UFC. He finished seven of them, whereas 11 of them were decisions.

An account used and handled by The Combat Magazine Staff.