Spinning Back Clique: UFC Paris, Demetrious Johnson back on top, Colby Covington and more

·3 min read

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

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

  • One of the greatest fighters in MMA history is back on top. Longtime UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson needed a little bit to reach the pinnacle of his new home at ONE Championship, but he captured the promotion’s bantamweight (125 pounds) belt with a knockout of Adriano Moraes at ONE on Prime Video 1. Is he the best flyweight in the world once again, or are the likes of Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno still ahead of him?

  • It’s been nearly four years since the UFC and 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 has gone 4-1 at ONE and is a champion. Looking back, how did that swap work out for both sides?

  • It’s been just about six months since we’ve seen Colby Covington in action. He’s been in the news a bit thanks to his alleged attack by rival and former friend Jorge Masvidal, but he hasn’t been in the cage since he beat Masvidal in the UFC 272 main event in early March. He’s ready to get back to work, and UFC president Dana White says he’s trying to figure out an opponent for him. Who do we think that opponent should be, and when?

  • Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has said he’s done chasing a return to title contention and a shot at the belt and instead just wants to take on other longtime fighters in what amounts to fun, but arguably meaningless matchups. Is that the right stance for him to take publicly? Should the UFC give him the kind of fights he wants instead of matchups with up-and-comers trying to build their ways to contention? And if so, should he get bounced from the rankings to make room for someone who actually cares about having a number next to his name?

  • The UFC sets up shop in France this week for the first time. Plenty of eyeballs will be on UFC Fight Night 209, not just because of the debut in Paris. At the top of the card, Ciryl Gane (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) will try to wow his 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 ex-champ Robert Whittaker (23-6 MMA, 14-4 UFC). Who has the clearest path to a title shot with a win?

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

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Twitter reacts to Demetrious Johnson's title-winning knee KO of Adriano Moraes at ONE on Prime Video 1

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie