On Demetrious Johnson, UFC Paris, Colby Covington and more

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Check out this week’s “Spinning Back Clique,” MMA Junkie’s weekly show that tackles the biggest topics in mixed martial arts.

Our panel of Brian “Goze” Garcia, Mike Bohn and Nolan King discuss five topics with “Gorgeous” host George Garcia.

  • One of the greatest fighters in MMA history is back on top. Longtime UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson needed a bit to get to the top of his new home at ONE Championship, but he won the promotion’s bantamweight belt (125lbs) with a knockout of Adriano Moraes at ONE on Prime Video 1. Is he the best flyweight in the world once again, or are Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno still ahead of him?
  • It’s been nearly four years since the UFC and the ONE Championship pulled off what amounted to a trade of a pair of star fighters. The UFC released Demetrious Johnson from his deal so he could sign with ONE, and ONE did the same with Ben Askren so he could go to the UFC. Askren went 1-2 in the UFC, including an infamous 5-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal, and retired from MMA. Johnson went 4-1 at ONE and is a champion. Looking back, how did that exchange go for both parties?
  • It’s only been six months since we saw Colby Covington in action. He made a bit of headlines thanks to his alleged attack by rival and former friend Jorge Masvidal, but he hasn’t been in the cage since beating Masvidal in the main event of UFC 272. early March. He’s ready to get back to work and UFC president Dana White says he’s trying to find him an opponent. Who do we think that opponent should be, and when?
  • Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos says he’s done chasing a title comeback and a shot at the belt and instead wants to face other longtime fighters in fun, but arguably meaningless matches. Is this the right position to take publicly? Should the UFC give him the kind of fights he wants instead of clashes with newcomers trying to fight their way into contention? And if so, should he be kicked off the leaderboard to make room for someone who actually cares about having a number next to their name?
  • The UFC moves to France this week for the first time. Lots of eyeballs will be on UFC Fight Night 209, not just because of the Paris debut. At the top of the card, Ciryl Gane (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) will look to wow her home fans in a heavyweight bout against Tai Tuivasa (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC). And in the co-main event, former middleweight title challenger Marvin Vettori (18-4-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) meets former champion Robert Whittaker (23-6 MMA, 14-4 CFU). Who has the clearest path to a title with a win?

“Spinning Back Clique” is posted every Tuesday on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel. You can watch the full episode in the video above.

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