Demetrious Johnson made history last Saturday night (Oct. 7, 2017), submitting Ray Borg in the co-main event of UFC 216 to score his record-setting eleventh straight title defense in Las Vegas, Nevada. And he did it with style points, too, suplexing Borg before catching him in a slick flying armbar he dubbed “The Mighty Wizbar” to put an end to the fight in the fifth and final frame (video replay here).
Now standing on a platform all his own (sorry, Anderson), Johnson is finally enjoying the fruits of his labor.
“To go through 11 training camps — or 11 title training camps, it’s hard on the body. I put way more miles on the body than when I do fighting,” Johnson explained on “The MMA Hour.” “This was a huge one for me, and I tell everybody, ‘Dude, I don’t even want to think about fighting my next fight until the beginning of the year. This one was almighty. Nobody in the history of mixed martial arts — DREAM, PRIDE, ONE FC, LFA, Titan, Strikeforce, Rizin … I can go one — nobody, not one champion, has defended the title maybe eight times, male or female. And I just did 11? So this is a big fucking deal and it means a lot to me.”
Furthermore, Johnson says he takes pride in the fact that he’s one of the few champions who will explode and take chances in the final rounds to get a finish rather than coasting once he knows he has the win in the bag. As for what his next move might be, “Mighty Mouse” says he will take the rest of the year off before contemplating his next bout. And it won’t be at Bantamweight now that he has the record, as he plans on adding to his title defense total at Flyweight.
Even if it means taking part in more rematches.
“Going up to that weigh class, obviously I want to be well-compensated and make it worth my while, show me the money. I mean, these guys are taking concussions. Like I said before, I am not in the business to take concussions,” Johnson said. “I do not like getting hit … I mean, I can take a hit, but I don’t want to damage my brain if I don’t have to. Obviously there fights at 125 that are appealing. Sergio Pettis is a hot prospect, Henry Cejudo looked good in his last fight, Joseph Benavidez is getting healthy again.”
And if you think he isn’t motivated to keep going after making history, you’re sadly mistaken, as Johnson says he wants to set the bar even higher.
“I don’t see a reason to leave after cementing this legacy, why not put it up to 15?” Johnson said. “There is going to come another guy down the road aiming to break my record, so my job is to set the bar high. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is at six and she may want to keep going to break my record. I can’t allow that, so I have to set the bar higher to where she says, ‘Fuck that, I am not going for 20. I did eight, nine, I am done. I’m going to go have children, bye.’”