It seems like just yesterday we were waiting anxiously for the launch of the UFC’s flyweight division, and now, after a hectic tournament and frenetic five-round battle, we have our first 125-pound king in Demetrious Johnson. For the new champ, however, it’s been a long journey built on a pragmatic outlook and a rock solid work ethic. The gold around his waist may signify his status as champion, but Johnson will tell you, it’s where he goes from here that will determine the security of his future. In true flyweight form, the UFC has wasted no time in lining up that future with the first contender, John Dodson—the one fighter in the division who may be able to match Johnson’s pace, if not exceed it. For more on Demetrious’ journey to the top and how he plans to deal with his first test as champ, turn to page 50.
Demetrious Johnson and lighterweight fighters in general, are predisposed to a faster pace. A smaller frames mean less weight to push around, which translates into improved speed and greater endurance. But the ability to push a fast pace for a full five rounds isn’t reserved soley for the svelte. On page 74, Demetrious Johnson’s strength and conditioning coach runs us through one of DJ’s bread and butter conditioning routines, and in the following pages, tackles some of MMA conditioning’s most stubborn myths. Give them a read, hit the gym, and regardless of size, you’ll be dancing like a flyweight in no time.