UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is at the precipice of immortality.
Mighty Mouse owns plenty of UFC records already but he is chasing one that may be the most important and most difficult to break. The 31 year old fighter has been in the UFC since 2010 and has established himself as the best pound for pound fighter in the planet. D.J. has stopped every challenger the UFC has put in front of him. And in doing so, he has silently tied Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive successful title defenses at 10.
With his reign and dominance not about to end, Johnson sets out to break that record this coming Saturday. It’s indeed been a long journey for a man who started fighting in 2007 in lesser known organizations like the AX FC, KOTC, US MMA and Alaska Fighting Championships.
After fighting in regional promotions, Johnson moved to the WEC in 2010. His first fight didn’t go his way. He suffered a unanimous decision loss to Brad Pickett at WEC 48. When the WEC merged with the UFC in 2010, D.J. was among the holdovers. Johnson challenged Dominick Cruz for the UFC bantamweight title at UFC on Versus 6 in October 2011.
The bigger Cruz landed 10 of 19 takedowns on Mighty Mouse, including a couple of belly-to-back suplexes which showed the size difference between the two. Despite Johnson trying to put on a torrid pace to confuse the champion, Cruz won the fight easily with scored of 50-45, 50-45 and 50-46.
Moving Down To Flyweight
Johnson was scheduled to fight Eddie Wineland next but was pulled out from the bout after the UFC decided to put up a flyweight division tournament. Johnson faced Ian McCall in the first ever flyweight bout in UFC history at UFC on Fox 2. The fight was first awarded to Johnson via majority decision but later it was overturned to a majority draw when it was found out that there was a mistake in the scoring.
Johnson and McCall fought again at UFC on Fox 3 with the winner moving on to the flyweight tournament finals. This time around, Johnson made sure there would be no controversy. He beat McCall via unanimous decision with scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Demetrious Johnson then defeated Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 to win the UFC flyweight tournament. In doing so, he became the UFC’s inaugural champion in 2012. He has been sitting prettily on that throne ever since, without showing any signs that he is slowing down anytime soon.
As the first and only flyweight king in UFC history, Johnson holds virtually all the records in that division. He’s fought the most fights, won the most bouts and has stayed longer in the octagon than any other flyweight. As the most successful 125 pound fighter ever, Johnson also owns the most stoppages, submissions and fight bonuses in his weight class. But his records extend beyond his own league.
In Fight Records
Mighty Mouse has never been knocked out or submitted in any MMA bout. His 338 career total in clinch strikes are the most in UFC history. He has landed a total of 65 takedowns, 4th most ever in UFC history. He is the only fighter in the history of the UFC to record 10 or more takedowns in three different bouts.
Johnson and T.J. Dillashaw are the only fighters in UFC history to earn two fifth round stoppage victories in world title fights. DJ.’s UFC 186 submission of Kyoji Horiguchi is the UFC record holder as the latest fight stoppage ever at 4:59 of Round 5. The records don’t end inside the octagon.
One Of The Longest Reigns
Demetrious Johnson’s reign as UFC flyweight king is currently at 1,841 days ( as of Saturday ) and is the 4th longest ever in the history of the promotion, behind Anderson Silva ( 2,457 ), Georges St. Pierre ( 2,064 ) and Jose Aldo ( 1,848 ).
Johnson has won 12 fights in a row. It’s the longest active winning streak of any fighter currently in the UFC’s active roster. His current winning streak of 12 is tied ( with Georges St. Pierre) for the third longest in UFC history. Only Anderson Silva ( 16 ) and Jon Jones ( 13 ) have had a longer streak.
Most Consecutive Title Defenses
Johnson is also one of six fighters in the history of the UFC to win at least 10 consecutive fights. The others to achieve that feat are Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones and Max Holloway. 11 of his 12 wins have come in title fights and that marks the second most wins by any fighter in title fights ( tied with Anderson Silva ) with only GSP having more at 12.
10 of those title fight wins are successful title defenses. That’s the most by any current titleholder and is tied for most consecutive title defenses by any champion in UFC history. The only other fighter to have as many consecutive successful defenses of his belt is Silva. On Saturday, Mighty Mouse has the opportunity to overtake Anderson Silva and be on a pedestal all by himself.
Johnson was all set to fight Ray Borg as the main event of UFC 215. But that bout was scrapped two days before the event after Borg fell ill and was determined unfit to fight by UFC doctors. Johnson was ultimately removed from the event and his date with destiny was put on hold.
History was delayed. However, it may not be denied. The fight was immediately rebooked for the next big event and that is UFC 216 on October 7, 2017. The bout is no longer the main event but without doubt, it will be the most important of the evening as Demetrious Johnson looks to set the record for most consecutive title defenses in the history of the UFC.
Cleaning Up The Closet
Demetrious Johnson is the best flyweight in the world, period. His dominance in the UFC’s 125 pound weight class is unparalleled and a victory at UFC 216 will cement his legacy as the most dominant champion in the history of the sport.
While fighters like Conor McGregor, B.J. Penn and Randy Couture established their greatness by winning world titles in different weight classes, Demetrious Johnson’s greatness is different. Mighty Mouse Johnson has literally cleaned up his closet.
He owns victories over the #1 and #2 contender and if he beats Borg, the #3 ranked fighter included. If he wins on Saturday, he will have beaten four of the top six fighters in his division and half of the Top 10. Nobody has ever ruled a weight class like he has and no champion has beaten his challengers with the same ease.
We all love rooting for the underdog but with all due respect to Ray Borg, not in this instance. It would be great to see an upset victory but it would be greater to see Mighty Mouse win. Ray Borg stands in the way of history. He is in between Demetrious Johnson and immortality. Usually, no mortal can fight that.
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