What’s next for Mighty Mouse after UFC 216?

Mighty Mouse

The MMA world is going crazy over the big victory of “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson at UFC 216. Not only did he beat the record for the most consecutive title defenses, he also sealed his victory with a move that could never be forgotten in MMA history. In a never-before-seen move, DJ converted a suplex into an armbar that gained him the submission victory over Ray Borg.

This is nothing more than a landslide victory for DJ. It is an understatement to say that Johnson dominated Borg. Borg is not the most formidable of DJ opponents, but he did his best to put up a solid fight. Yet, it just wasn’t enough to beat one of the greatest fighters of all time.

While Mighty Mouse is the undisputed king of the flyweight division, his future in the UFC boils down to the question “what’s next for him?”

State of the Flyweight Division

In the flyweight division, no one ever came close to beating Mighty Mouse over the last 6 years. He has faced everyone ranging from Olympian gold medalist wrestlers to expert strikers. The way he dominated an entire division is something that must be etched in MMA history forever. Despite all this, the flyweight division is not among the most lucrative divisions in the UFC.

It might be exciting for hardcore MMA fans to watch Mighty Mouse in action, but there simply isn’t enough money in this division. Let’s face it; the flyweight division has always been one of the poorest divisions in the UFC. It is not very often that Mighty Mouse singularly headlined a major numbered event. Even in his record-breaking title victory, his fight was the co-main event rather than the main event.

PPV buys are not among the best for events headlining flyweight fights. DJ had repeated conflicts with the UFC management over not being paid adequately. Even at UFC 216, his payout ($370,000) was lesser than that of Fabricio Werdum ($400,000) who clocked in a total fight time of 1 minute and 5 seconds. DJ might arguably be the greatest fighter ever, but he is not in the most exciting of UFC divisions.

Move to Bantamweight?

The bantamweight division is comparatively in a better state with interesting rivalries and exciting future main events. TJ Dillashaw called out Mighty Mouse a few months back. This could be right time for him to make the move. Moreover, Mighty Mouse started out as a bantamweight before there ever was a flyweight division.

His last fight in the bantamweight division was against former champion Dominic Cruz – a fight he lost on unanimous decision. If he ever makes the move to bantamweight division again, he could quite possibly get the money fight he was eagerly looking for.

If he manages to get past against TJ and Cruz, a title shot could be well within reach. In the current roster of top 10 flyweights, I don’t see anyone getting past Mighty Mouse to take the gold at least for next couple of years. There simply isn’t much for Mighty Mouse to look forward to in this division. A fresh challenge awaits Mighty Mouse in a bigger, better division. Only time will tell if he ever will go for it.