Demetrious Johnson sidelined through first part of 2017 with knee injury

pound for pound champion

Unfortunate news surfaced this week that UFC flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson had injured his knee earlier this year during his 5-round war against Tim Elliot.

In the opening round, Johnson was nearly submitted by the ‘TUF: Tournament of Champions’ winner, however over the course of the next four rounds, Johnson used his wrestling to dictate where the fight went, repeatedly taking Elliot down and controlling him on the ground, while looking for numerous submission attempts. Ultimately, after five hard-fought rounds, Johnson was awarded the unanimous decision win.

pound for pound

Unfortunately, the win didn’t come at a price. This week, Johnson revealed to MMAFightng that he tore his popliteus muscle in his knee. While the injury will sideline the flyweight champ for 3-5 weeks, he will avoid surgery.

“I am going to let this heal and not rush back in there.”

In regards to a timetable for his potential return to the Octagon, Johnson stated:

“Maybe April or may, but if my injury needs more time, I’ll let it heal.”

This isn’t the first time Johnson referenced the injury. Following the win, the champ appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss the fight, where he revealed that he knew the moment when the injury occurred. Initially however, he believed he tore his LCL.

“Adrenaline takes over,” he said. “I’ve fought with a broken leg, a broken rib, a broken hand…so when it popped I was like, okay, fun fun.”

It’s been a rather busy year for the flyweight champ, after kicking off the year by defeating former Olympian Henry Cejudo in April, Johnson spent the last portion of 2016 paying close attention to season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter, which would produce his next opponent.

On the TUF 24 Finale card, in addition to Johnson retaining his belt, Joseph Benavidez defeated Henry Cejudo, potentially setting the stage for a trilogy fight between himself and Johnson.

Benavidez wins

With that being said, a potential fight would have to wait until after Johnson heals from his knee injury.