'Mighty Mouse' in for Pickett versus Torres
April, 21, 2011
Ric Fogel For ESPN.comDemetrious Johnson steps up in a big way when he faces Miguel Torres at UFC 130.British bantamweight Brad Pickett has suffered an injury and has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 130 bout with Miguel Torres. Stepping in to face the former WEC champion in Pickett's stead will be Demetrious Johnson, the promotion announced Wednesday evening.
"The fastest man in the division has answered the call, and Demetrious Johnson will move into Pickett’s spot to face the former divisional kingpin," said UFC president Dana White. "Both men have verbally agreed to the fight."
Headlined by a lightweight title rematch between reigning champ Frankie Edgar and the only man to ever beat him in Gray Maynard, UFC 130 goes down May 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Johnson has only tasted defeat once in his career, suffering a 2010 loss to the aforementioned Pickett in the American's WEC debut. Since coming up short on the judges' scorecards against the Brit, “Mighty Mouse” has won three straight, most recently besting Norifumi Yamamoto at UFC 126 in February.
Johnson was originally supposed to face surging Brazilian Renan "Barao" at UFC 130, but “Barao” will now square off with a to-be-named opponent at the event.
Once considered the world's top bantamweight, Torres hit a rough patch after defending his WEC title successfully three times. After losing his title to Brian Bowles at WEC 42 in 2009, Torres was submitted by Joseph Benavidez seven months later. Since that second defeat, the 30-year-old has returned to his winning ways, submitting Charlie Valencia at WEC 51 and then outpointing Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126.