Demetrious Johnson’s next opponent may be determined soon, and it may not be whom you think…or want. MMA News’s Damon Martin confirms that a bout between Sergio Pettis and Jussier Formiga is in the works for UFC 229 in October. The news was initially reported by ESPN.
Jussier Formiga is an 11-fight veteran of the Octagon, and with two consecutive wins that came over Ulka Sasaki and Ben Nguyen, a victory over Sergio Pettis would mean three straight victories. This is likely to be enough to earn Formiga a title shot in the flyweight division. Formiga also owns victories over Zach Makovsky, Scott Jorgensen, and former title challengers Wilson Reis and Chris Cariaso. He will have a tall task ahead of him, though, in arguably the most promising prospect in the 125-pound division, Sergio Pettis.
Younger brother of Anthony Pettis, Sergio Pettis has been making his own name for himself within the flyweight division. In fact, until a loss to the next title challenger, Henry Cejudo, Pettis had won four consecutive bouts. And following the Cejudo setback, he would then defeat a man who had previously only loss in the division to Demetrious Johnson himself, which is none other than Joseph Benavidez via split decision. Now a winner of five of his last six, defeating Formiga to advance to six out of his last seven would all but guarantee Pettis a title shot in the flyweight division, provided Henry Cejudo does not shock the world Saturday night and dethrone Demetrious Johnson, at which point a rematch would be the most likely outcome. Heading into his previous bout with Joseph Benavidez, Pettis had already envision what a fight with Johnson might look like:
“But I think I do bring a different style to the table for DJ man,” Pettis told BJ Penn Radio last year. I feel like he has a little bit of trouble with the longer fighters, and I think that’s where I am, I’m a longer guy. I am very, very educated in the striking game and I think that’s where it’s a little different. He fought a lot of guys who are going to wrestle him, I’m going to go out there are try to strike with him. I think I have enough clean technique and clean striking and enough education to be able to do that.”
Do you believe the winner of this bout deserves a title shot at Demetrious Johnson?