Bantamweight champ puts title on the line against surging challenger on cable television
For the first time since Quinton “Rampage” Jackson defended the light heavyweight title against Dan Henderson at UFC 75, a championship fight will headline a non-pay-per-view event.
Thursday night, the UFC announced that bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz would defend his title against surging contender Demetrious Johnson in the main event of UFC on Versus 6. Cruz is coming off a stirring five-round affair with Urijah Faber in the main event of UFC 132, while Johnson earned a hotly debated close decision over Miguel Torres at UFC 130.
The announcement ends the speculation about who Cruz would face in his next title defence. After he and Faber combined for a 25-minute classic in their second meeting, many wondered if an immediate trilogy bout would take place. Former champion Brian Bowles was also considered as a potential opponent following his win at UFC 132 over Takeya Mizugaki. Instead, the UFC decided on Johnson, one of the breakout stars of the first half of the year.
A diminutive flash of lightning in the cage, Johnson has put together a four-fight winning streak between the WEC and UFC since last September. After dropping his WEC debut to Brad Pickett, Johnson rebounded with wins over Nick Pace and Damacio Page. He made a splash in his UFC debut, dominating Japanese star “Kid” Yamamoto at UFC 126 in February before edging out Torres in May.
UFC on Versus 6 takes place Saturday, October 1 in Washington, D.C.