UFC Announces Flyweight Tournament For March 3, 2012The Ultimate Fighting Championship will crown its first flyweight champion next year. UFC President Dana White announced tonight that a four-man 125-pound tournament will begin on March 3, 2012 as part of the UFC on FX 2 card. The semi-final winners will face off for the title at a later date.

In one semi-final bout, Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Champion Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall faces recent UFC bantamweight title challenger Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Former WEC title challenger Joseph Benavidez battles Shooto Bantamweight Champion Yasuhiro Urushitani in the other.

McCall (11-2-0), ranked as the top flyweight in the world, makes his UFC debut after posting three wins for Tachi Palace Fights this year. McCall previously campaigned under the WEC banner, where he won one of three bouts and took future UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz to a decision. McCall has finished seven of his opponents and holds key wins over former number one Jussier “Formiga” da Silva and Darrell “The Mongoose” Montague.

Johnson (14-2-0) finished eight of his first ten opponents before debuting in the WEC in April 2010. He suffered his first loss at the hands of Brad “One Punch” Pickett, but rebounded with back-to-back wins before the promotion merged with the UFC this year. Johnson scored big victories over Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and former WEC champ Miguel Torres to earn a shot at Cruz’s 135-pound UFC title, but came up short after five rounds and will now look to capture title gold at 125 next year.

Benavidez (15-2-0) reigned undefeated through his first ten fights, which included WEC wins over Danny Martinez and Jeff Curran. He dropped a Unanimous Decision to Cruz in the pair’s first meeting in 2009, but earned a second shot at the then-WEC champion after two big victories. Cruz defeated Benavidez once again after five rounds, but Benavidez has won three straight fights since; two of them inside the Octagon. The Team Alpha Male standout is seen as a favourite to become the UFC’s first 125-pound champion, but he faces a tough test in one of Japan’s top fighters.

Urushitani (19-4-6) has lost just one time since late 2004. That defeat, a 2008 submission loss to Yuki Shoujou, was avenged when Urushitani knocked Shoujou out in July of this year. The reigning Shooto 123-pound champion has recently improved his finishing ability and has earned stoppages in three of his past five fights. Urushitani holds notable wins over John Dodson and Mamoru Yamaguchi, and sports a 2-0-1 record against long-time Shooto contender Ryuichi Miki.

While a venue and location were not announced for the March 3rd UFC on FX 2 card, MMAjunkie.com reports that the event will likely take place at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. The winners of the McCall-Johnson and Benavidez-Urushitani bouts will then face off later in 2012 to crown the first UFC Flyweight Champion.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

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