Demetrious Johnson is excited to test his skills against Ali Bagautinov

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will headline his first UFC pay-per-view on Saturday night as he is challenged by Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174 in Vancouver.UFC 174 Poster

Saturday will mark the fourth title defense for Johnson since winning the inaugural title in 2012 in the final of the flyweight tournament against Joseph Benavidez.

Johnson (19-2-1) has gone unbeaten as a flyweight in the UFC and his last victories have come by stoppage.

His opponent on Saturday night is currently on an eleven fight winning streak and Johnson said on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1 that he is excited for the challenge that is in front of him.

“He’s a two-time world combat Sambo champion,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to get in there and test my skills against him.”

Johnson has shown improvements in his game in his last two fights as he submitted John Moraga at UFC on FOX 8 at the 3:43 mark of the fifth round and followed that performance with a knockout victory over Benavidez at UFC on FOX 9. Johnson credits his improvements to his head coach Matt Hume, who he has worked with for two straight years.

“I always get better working with Matt Hume,” Johnson said. After this fight, I’ll be able to talk about things we’ve been working on for this fight. I’ve been with him for two years straight.”

Bagautinov (13-2) entered the UFC last year and has scored victories over Marcos Vinicius, Tim Elliott, and John Lineker. The win over Lineker secure his title shot and one of the facts that Johnson knows of his opponent is that he is very durable.

“He looks like a very durable guy,” said Johnson. “If I need to beat him up for 25 minutes, I will. The speed advantage, that’s what I’m known for.”

A victory on Saturday night will give Johnson the most wins in UFC flyweight history and would make a statement on where he should stand in the pound for pound rankings.