Benavidez and Cejudo to coach flyweights on TUF 24; tourney winner confirmed to face Champ Johnson at finale

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Joseph Benavidez (photo credit Troy Taormina © USA Today Sports)

The UFC has apparently come to an agreement with UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson about waiting until December for his next fight, as it was announced on Wednesday’s UFC Tonight program on Fox Sports 1 that he will indeed face the winner of an Ultimate Fighter 24 flyweight tournament on the December finale event in Las Vegas.

Additionally, 125 lb. contenders Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo will serve as coaches for the next season, and will face off on that same card in the co-main event.

The UFC cancelled tryouts for a flyweight season last month, leading to speculation on changing plans after Johnson was vocally outspoken on the fact that he hadn’t been asked about the potential for facing the tournament winner, and that he wasn’t keen on waiting until December. They’re moving forward now without those open tryouts, and will film this summer in Las Vegas for a fall airing of the program on Fox Sports 1.

Penick’s Analysis: If they were going this route I would have preferred seeing Johnson getting to defend his title in the summer before returning in December. I hope for Johnson’s sake that he was able to negotiate some type of raise or bonus for agreeing to fight in December – that is, if he has indeed agreed to wait already and this isn’t being announced without his knowledge for a second time. Benavidez-Cejudo is a fine enough fight in the UFC’s flyweight division, but I’d still have preferred seeing Johnson-Benavidez III and then the finale fight here.

[Photo (c) Troy Taormina via USA Today Sports]

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