Demetrious Johnson faces challenge at UFC 174

Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (left) and contender Ali Bagautinov (right) square off during...

Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (left) and contender Ali Bagautinov (right) square off during UFC 174 media event in Burnaby, B.C. on Thursday, June 12, 2014. UFC 174 will take place June 14 at Rogers Arena In Vancouver. (Carmine Marinelli/QMI Agency)

DANIEL AUSTIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:30 PM ET

Demetrious Johnson's ambitions lie well beyond the UFC.

Maybe that's natural for a flyweight champion who's so firmly established at the top of his division's pecking order. Browse the flyweight division's rankings and it's like reading a list of those Johnson has vanquished.

So yes, Johnson is looking beyond the octagon and considering the various ways he can expand his brand.

First, though, he's got to beat challenger Ali Bagautinov on Saturday night at UFC 174 in Vancouver. The Russian presents a new challenge, as he's a sambo expert who's one of the organization's top takedown experts.

"I've never fought anybody with a sambo background, but it's all mixed martial arts at the end of the day," Johnson said. "I'm not afraid to fight anyone in the clinch. I know I have good muay thai, I know I'm good in the clinch and I know I'm good in the transition."


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