ByMatt Juul, writer at Creators.co
MMA and Entertainment Writer
Matt Juul

UFC champion continued his domination over the flyweight division with a flawless, record-tying 10th title defense at .

Although Mighty Mouse was clearly the star of Saturday night, he wasn't the only fighter who made waves during the Fox-televised event. From Robert Whittaker's surprise upset over Ronaldo Souza to Rose Namajunas' spectacular submission of Michelle Waterson, several rising contenders made convincing cases for title shots with their big wins.

Check out our Champs Tracker to see how last night affected the title picture for the stars of UFC Kansas City.


Demetrious Johnson

Photo by Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports
Photo by Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports

Most UFC champions have a long list of contenders waiting for a chance to swipe their belt away, that is, unless you're Demetrious Johnson.

After 10 consecutive title defenses, DJ has effectively cleared out the flyweight division, beating each and every challenger to face him since he was first crowned the champ in 2012. The lack of viable opponents means it's going to be hard for Mighty Mouse to find the right match-up for his possible record-setting 11th title defense, which would surpass the historic mark set by should he emerge victorious.

The pound-for-pound king could grant Joseph Benavidez another shot if he beats Ben Nguyen in June, but the Team Alpha Male product has already lost twice to DJ. However, other than Benavidez, there's really no one else worthy of a crack at Johnson's crown.

Although the champ has his heart set on making history in the 125 lb. division, he should consider moving back up to bantamweight for a superfight against Cody Garbrandt. The bout would definitely help raise Johnson's star profile, as well as earn him that big paycheck he's been eyeballing.


Ronaldo Souza and Robert Whittaker

Photo by Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports
Photo by Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports

The middleweight title picture got even more confusing thanks to Whittaker's upset finish over Jacare.

The 37-year-old Brazilian looked his age on Saturday night, as he couldn't keep up with the young Aussie's speed and power. Unfortunately, this probably means that Souza's dream of challenging for the belt in the near future will have to be put on hold for a bit, as the division awaits to see whether champ Michael Bisping waits to fight Georges St-Pierre, or ends up taking on No. 1 contender Yoel Romero. Jacare's loss is also good news for Gegard Mousasi, who should jump ahead of the BJJ ace in the rankings thanks to his own recent, yet controversial win over Chris Weidman.

As for Whittaker, his star should definitely be on the rise now that he's a perfect 6-0 at middleweight. Beating Jacare was a career defining moment, so it should at least earn the rising contender another big name in his next outing. And who knows, should Whittaker topple yet another top 5 fighter, he could very well find himself in a title bout much sooner than expected.


Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson

Photo by Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports
Photo by Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports

Strawweight phenom Rose Namajunas made a statement on Saturday night with her utter destruction of Michelle Waterson.

"The Karate Hottie" just couldn't hang with the powerful, submission-savvy "Thug," who secured a vicious rear-naked choke in the second frame. Namajunas made it clear after the win that she wants a crack at the belt and believes that she has the right stuff to take out Joanna Jędrzejczyk.

Should the champ retain her belt following her next outing, a date with Namajunas will likely be on the horizon. Considering both fighters' penchant for trash talking, the build up to this bout would be huge, so it's a no-brainer for the UFC.

Unfortunately for Waterson, who seemed on the cusp of a title shot going into Saturday night, she's now going to have to wait a little while for a chance at the belt. Now 2-1 since coming over the UFC, the former Invicta FC atomweight champ will have to string together a few wins before another championship run is viable.


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