Demetrious Johnson says the UFC owe him eight flyweight belts for each of his successful title defenses.
We’re seeing a different side to pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson heading into Saturday’s UFC on FOX 24 card in Kansas City. Or, perhaps a more vocal one.
‘Johnson’, who is no longer content with just being the UFC company man, will look to defend his flyweight title for the tenth time against No. 3 ranked contender Wilson Reis in Saturday’s main event, which would tie him with MMA legend Anderson Silva for the most title defenses in the promotion’s history.
But ‘Mighty Mouse’ is tired of being compared to ‘The Spider’ and says he is making his own history and chasing his own dream.
“At the end of the day, everybody keeps saying it’s Anderson Silva’s record, but it’s not about chasing him, it’s about chasing number 10,” Johnson said during Friday’s open workouts, per MMA Fighting’s Danny Segura. “Obviously, No. 11 is the ultimate goal, so yeah, it would be sweet if I succeeded.”
‘DJ’ also has a bone to pick with the UFC, calling out MMA’s premiere promotion for not giving him a new belt for each consecutive title defense. According to Johnson, the flyweight star only possesses the 125-pound strap he won against Joseph Benavidez in 2012, while several other champions are walking around with multiple belts.
“I’m getting pissed off about that,” he said. “I saw Daniel Cormier get three damn belts, so Dana White, WME-IMG, whoever writes the checks, give me eight damn belts please, and then I [already have one, so] nine if I win this one. I’ll take it home. I’m going to start collecting these belts. Michael Bisping has two belts and I’m just a nice guy, just a company man, I come here and fight and then they take the belt away from me and I’m like, ‘alright, peace. Call me when you want me to come fight again.’ And thats it. But now I’m seeing these guys with three belts, and I’m like, I only got one belt and have to share it with two of my kids.”
“If the UFC wants to give me nine belts, if I’m successful on Saturday, I’ll take the belt home — if they send me eight more — then I can do one of the thing I’ve always wanted to do,” Johnson explained. “Floyd Mayweather has a picture with his all his championship belts, and I think Andre Ward just did it too. And I think it would be cool if I can re-create that same image in mixed martial arts. You got Conor holding up two belts, two weight champion, and I think it would be cool if I were successful and got to 11, and had just 11 UFC titles and have my amateur belts, and be like this is the road I took to get here.”
Johnson vs. Reis, which will headline UFC on FOX 24, takes place Saturday, April 15, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.