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29th Nov 2016

Demetrious Johnson’s next opponent has become the worst kept secret in MMA

Spoiler alert

Darragh Murphy

The UFC found themselves with their backs against the fence as they looked to make their floundering Ultimate Fighter franchise some bit relevant again.

They tried to do a live series, it failed.

They tried to get female fighters involved, it just didn’t work.

They played a Hail Mary by drafting in Conor McGregor for a season, it provided some bit of respite.

UFC On FX: Alves v Kampmann

But make no mistake, TUF is struggling and even the most recent attempt from the promotion seems to have hit a speed bump.

The organisation’s latest effort saw a flyweight tournament in which 125lbs champions from other organisations competed on the show, with the reward a shot at the indomitable UFC pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson.

The allure of the series was that fans would not know who Johnson’s opponent would be until just days prior to his title defence as the last man standing would be revealed during the airing of the final episode of TUF 24 this week, when finalists Tim Elliott and Hiromasa Ogikubo clashed for a shot at Johnson’s belt.

But, unfortunately, some cable TV stations in the US leaked the embargoed news on their schedules, revealing that it would be Johnson vs. Elliott on December 3.

Tim Elliott, a former UFC fighter who came into TUF 24 as the Titan FC flyweight champion, presumably gets past Ogikubo this week and will become the eighth man to attempt to prise the 125lbs crown away from ‘Mighty Mouse’.

There’s no such thing as secrets in 2016 apparently.

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live