Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson both were given second chances at dethroning UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
And both times, both men failed.
Henry Cejudo will become the third different fighter to try and unseat “Mighty Mouse” this Saturday night at UFC 227.
Back in 2016, Cejudo suffered a first round TKO loss after Johnson landed a knee that stopped the former U.S. Olympic gold medalist in his tracks.
Since that time, Johnson has earned three more successful title defenses, setting a new UFC record with 11 consecutive victories since claiming the belt.
What makes Johnson so great? He’s fast, athletic, a wrestler, a submission master and just an all-around exceptional fighter.
Cejudo, though, is no slouch himself. In 2008, he captured gold at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, adding to a Pan American Games gold and bronze at the Wrestling World Cup.
In 2017, Cejudo put his striking skills on display when he finished Wilson Reis, following that up with a decision over Sergio Pettis to earn his second crack at the champ. The only other fighter to best Cejudo was Benavidez, who claimed a split decision two years ago after the pair coached on The Ultimate Fighter.
Cejudo is just 31 years old, but this is in all likelihood his final chance to best Johnson.
The division continues to grow, and fans will need to see something special out of Cejudo for him to receive a third title shot.
If “The Messenger” can slow the pace to a crawl and pepper Johnson with his boxing, he just might have a shot. It will have been almost a complete year since we last saw Johnson in action, so will he suffer from “Octagon rust?” Or has the champion grown under the watchful eye of Matt Hume at AMC Pankration in Washington?
We shall find out in a few short days.
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