SACRAMENTO – MMAjunkie was on scene and reporting live from today’s UFC on FOX 9 fighter weigh-ins, where all 22 competitors successfully made weight for Saturday’s card.
The weigh-ins took place at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., which also hosts Saturday’s FOX network-televised event.
In the main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (18-2-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC) defends his title for the third time against Joseph Benavidez (19-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC), the man he beat to win the inaugural title 15 months ago. Both Johnson and Benavidez were on their marks at 125 on the nose, the max for a flyweight title fight.
Benavidez got an expected edge in the ovation category from the crowd, which clearly backed its hometown favorite. Benavidez has been a longtime member of the renowned Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento.
In the co-main event, Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber (29-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC) meets Michael McDonald (16-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who lives and trains a little more than an hour away. Faber and McDonald both are recent bantamweight title challengers, and the winner will stay in the hunt for another crack at the belt. The loser heads back into the middle of the pack. Faber has never lost a non-title fight in his professional career. Faber, who got a huge bump from the crowd, was 135 on the dot, while McDonald was 135.25.
Yet another Team Alpha Male mainstay, Chad Mendes (15-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) meets Nik Lentz (24-5-2 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) in a featherweight contenders bout. Mendes has won four straight since losing a shot at the title against Jose Aldo, while Lentz has won three in a row since dropping down from lightweight. Lentz, fighting for the first time on a UFC main card, was 145. Mendes, the biggest favorite on the show at around 8-to-1 odds, also was 145.
And to open up the main card, Mac Danzig (21-11-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC) and Joe Lauzon (22-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) got a bump up from the prelims when Matt Brown had to pull out of his welterweight contenders fight with Carlos Condit with an injury. With that fight scratched, Danzig-Lauzon got a new placement in a prestigious spot. “TUF 6” winner Danzig was 155 for the lightweight bout, while Lauzon came in the same at 155.
Interesting fights of note on the preliminary card include the UFC debut of former Bellator bantamweight champ and recent RFA flyweight champ Zack Makovsky (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who fought less than a month ago, and meets new flyweight Scott Jorgensen (14-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC). Makovsky was 125 on the nose, while Jorgensen, in his first cut since dropping from bantamweight, was 124.5.
In a rematch from their controversial no-contest in August in Indianapolis, Roger Bowling (11-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Abel Trujillo (10-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) again. The two open up the FOX Sports 1-televised prelims and had an intense face-off before being separated by UFC President Dana White. Both weighed in at 155 for their rematch.
And the first Team Alpha Male member to fight on the card will be Danny Castillo (16-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who meets dynamic striker Edson Barboza (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in a lightweight bout. Both fighters came in at 155 pounds.
The official UFC on FOX 9 weigh-in results included:
MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Champ Demetrious Johnson (125) vs. Joseph Benavidez (125) – for UFC flyweight title
Urijah Faber (135) vs. Michael McDonald (135.25)
Nik Lentz (145) vs. Chad Mendes (145)
Mac Danzig (155) vs. Joe Lauzon (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 5 p.m. ET)
Ryan LaFlare (170) vs. Court McGee (169.5)
Edson Barboza (155) vs. Danny Castillo (155)
Bobby Green (155) vs. Pat Healy (155)
Scott Jorgensen (124.5) vs. Zach Makovsky (125)
Cody McKenzie (155) vs. Sam Stout (154)
Roger Bowling (155) vs. Abel Trujillo (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 4:30 p.m. ET)
Alp Ozkilic (125) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (125)