UFC 216: Demetrious Johnson looks to make history and cement his legacy
By Brian Martin
For all his accomplishments and greatness, Demetrious Johnson has rarely been overhyped. But when they say “the one and only,” it rings true.
The first and only UFC flyweight champion is viewed by many as the top pound-for-pound fighter going today.
So how is it that Johnson has been overlooked for so long? Some might say that’s the nature of being 5-foot-3, though the man known as “Mighty Mouse” has never let his stature alter his swagger.
Johnson’s MMA mastery might be tougher to ignore if all goes according to plan Saturday when he shoots for a UFC record 11th consecutive successful title defense against No. 3-ranked Ray Borg at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“It’s insane. It really is. And I don’t care, ‘Oh well, he’s in this division’ … it doesn’t matter!” said UFC lightweight Paul Felder, who will be making his Fox Sports studio analyst debut Saturday for UFC 216. “It’s a fistfight. For you to be able to win that many consecutive fistfights? Against the best guys at your weight class? That’s insane.”
Based on TV ratings and reported pay-for-view buys, UFC fans have never exactly warmed up to the smallest men’s division and the 31-year-old phenom who has ruled the 125-pounders for five years with his speed, agility, elusiveness and cardio.
Felder chalks it up partly to fight fans craving the heavyweights and bigger punchers, despite the fact Johnson (26-2-1) has six finishes in his 10 title defenses.
He also believes Johnson’s excellence has soured the fans, who expect him to win and wish he would take on bigger challenges in bigger weight classes.
“Which isn’t fair to him! He’s dominating a weight class. He shouldn’t have to move up for people to get behind him,” Felder said. “I think that’s part of it. He’s so good that people are like, ‘Ehhh, I […]