On Saturday, April 23, 2016, the UFC heads to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for UFC 197. While the majority of fans are buzzing about Jon Jones’ return to action, the real star of the show is the co-main event flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and Olympic gold medalist challenger Henry Cejudo.

After failing to make the 2012 US Olympic Wrestling Team, Cejudo – winner of the gold medal in 2008 – retired from the sport and turned his attention towards MMA. Since making his pro debut in March of 2010, Cejudo is undefeated at 10-0 with his last four victories coming in the UFC. After having an incredibly successful and decorated wrestling career, Cejudo is hungry to capture UFC gold next.

Johnson, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to keep that title around his waist. As the first and only flyweight champion in UFC history, Johnson is looking to continue his divisional dominance. On Saturday night, Johnson will be looking to become the fourth fighter in UFC history to defend his title eight consecutive times.

For whatever reason the flyweight division has yet to really capture the attention of casual fight fans, but this fight could change that. Johnson is easily one of the best fighters in the world today and Cejudo is a proven champion. Expect to see a spectacular technical bout.

Striking

In his four UFC bouts, Cejudo has shown that he is more than just a wrestler. While he is still searching for his first UFC stoppage victory, he has shown off a solid technical boxing skill set. There is no doubt that he has been working tirelessly on his standup game but at the end of the day Johnson is light-years ahead of him on the feet.

Between incredible technical prowess, elite speed and flawless footwork, Johnson is a master at avoiding damage while landing consistently. Add to that his constantly evolving kicking game and Johnson can create angles and attack with various weapons at any time.

Advantage: Johnson

Grappling

As far as functional MMA wrestling goes, Johnson might be the best in the sport. His ability to transition from striking to takedown attempts seamlessly has played a major role in his success. But Cejudo is a different animal altogether. Johnson is going to have his hands full when it comes to getting Cejudo to the mat.

Advantage: Cejudo

Submissions

If this fight does get to the ground things will be very interesting. Both men are excellent scramblers and both have technical top games but when it comes to submissions Johnson is superior. Elite wrestlers have a great understanding of position and have excellent awareness, but Johnson could catch Cejudo just due to his inexperience.

Advantage: Johnson

Prediction

Johnson is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today and easily the most technically sound but even though he lacks experience in MMA Cejudo’s world-class wrestling pedigree should make things interesting. Cejudo is going to be a tough bout, but ultimately Johnson will be too fast and too technical for the Olympic champion.

Johnson over Cejudo via Submission, Round 4

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.