It’s taken some time, but UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson has finally earned his stripes as a bonafide star. He didn’t start off that way of course. No, when first we saw him in the Octagon, he was in the midst of a failed run at the bantamweight title. Plus, he never seemed to be able to finish – it was either win a decision or lose one. He was fast, a blur even, but there were no punctuation marks at the end of his sentences other than the ellipsis that trailed off to the judges’ scorecards.

Then came his handling of John Moraga, and his utter crushing of top challenger Joe Benavidez, and, well, now “Mighty Mouse” is the king of all 125-pound cheese.

Saturday night will see Johnson defending his belt against Dagestani beast Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174. If he’s successful, it will be hisĀ fourth time beating back a tough challenger. And if the ending is spectacular, it will be hard to deny that Johnson – the best flyweight in the world – is a superstar.

Ponder that while you watch Johnson snuff the life out of Benavidez.