Another world title fight has been added as a co-main event to beef up UFC 177.
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (20-2-1 with 4 KOs and 7 submissions) will defend his UFC Flyweight championship against the UFC’s #8 flyweight contender Chris Cariaso (17-5 with 3 KOs and 2 submissions) at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California on August 30th. The bout will serve as the co-main event of UFC 177 where the rematch between Renan Barao and T.J. DIllashaw will headline the fight card.
Johnson is fresh off a five round unanimous decision victory over Ali Bagautinov in UFC 174 last June 14th. It will be a quick return for Mighty Mouse who will be looking for a sixth consecutive win in a title fight, and a fifth successful title defense. Since UFC 176 was cancelled, Johnson will appear in two of the last three UFC pay per view shows.
Challenging Johnson will be former ISCF Bantamweight champion Chris Cariaso. The 33 year old San Jose, California native is a “surprise” pick as Johnson’s challenger. Johnson was scheduled to defend the title against John Dodson, but Dodson suffered an ACL tear which will sideline him for one year.
However, two top flyweight contenders battle it out this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin, Ireland. #3 flyweight Ian McCall faces #11 flyweight Brad Pickett in a three round bout. Pickett owns the distinction of being one the two fighters to ever beat Demetrious Johnson by winning a five round decision against Mighty Mouse at WEC 48 in 2010. Fight experts argue that either Pickett or McCall have a better shot at competing against Johnson than Cariaso.
But neither McCall nor Pickett would be available on August 30th considering that they fight on Saturday. The UFC was forced to insert Mighty Mouse to UFC 177 to strengthen its PPV revenues. UFC President Dana White had openly noted in the past that Renan Barao is tough to sell in the US market so most probably, Johnson will be there to double up the main event. It was alsoreported that Johnson’s UFC 174 drew just 100K PPV buys, but the UFC is hoping that this title fight double will draw more PPV buys.
Regardless of the PPV numbers, Johnson is known to put on a good show every single fight. The UFC’s inaugural flyweight champion has defeated top caliber names John Dodson, John Moraga and Joseph Benavidez in succession prior to his win over Bagautinov last month. Johnson aims to continue his winning streak and hope that fans will finally appreciate his technical brilliance in the Octagon with a masterful performance against Chris Cariaso on August 30th.