Demetrious Johnson: The Champion Has Let Us All Down
It was confirmed last night that UFC 215 will be headlined by Demetrious Johnson defending his Flyweight title against the ‘Taz-Mexican’ Ray Borg on September 9th at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The event will be co-headlined by Amanda Nunes defending her Womens Bantamweight title against Valentina Shevchenko. Fans have long been defending Demetrious Johnson when it seemed he was lacking support from the top brass in the organisation, but this time it seemed he finally could have had his breakthrough moment, and he let us all down.
Last month Dana White spoke to the Media and sounded off on how insane he felt it was for Demetrious Johnson to be turning down a fight with former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw. TJ was previously slated to fight current champion Cody Garbrandt, but when ‘No Love’ was forced to withdraw from the bout with a back injury, he turned his attention to the self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Champion Ever’ situated in the weight class below.
Demetrious Johnson has only two losses on his record, and the most recent of those was way back in 2011 to Dominick Cruz. Johnson became the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion way-back in 2012 as he defeated Joseph Benavidez in the finals of the UFC’s Flyweight Tournament; Demetrious has now defended the belt 10 times and is on course to break Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defences.
During the reign, ‘Mighty Mouse’ has defeated John Dodson (twice), John Moraga, Joseph Benavidez (again), Ali Bagautinov, Chris Cariaso, Kyoji Horiguchi, Henry Cejudo, Tim Elliott and Wilson Reis. Without being overly critical, it’s not quite the death row line-up that Anderson Silva was forced to plough through, and I know that has never been his fault which is why I’ve never criticised him previously.
Johnson is as much of a complete MMA fighter as you’re likely to find anywhere in the world, which is why it’s a shame we’re unable to see him seriously tested. Nobody really gets excited about a fight where the only topic of discussion is whether the fighter will win by decision or stoppage – this is the issue he’s having. The Champion seems more inclined to post video streams on Twitch than promote his own personality (which he certainly does have, it’s not like he’s a boring guy), and admittedly some of the responsibility here has to go on the UFC, but why would they spend their money promoting a guy who has no legible competition.
Let’s not get it twisted, TJ Dillashaw is certainly not the greatest fighter in the world, and it’s no sure thing that he would beat Demetrious Johnson, WHICH IS THE EXACT REASON WE WANT TO SEE THE FIGHT – we just want to see him in a competitive, pick ‘em match up. TJ was clearly very up for the fight (not like Conor pretending he wants to fight Khabib), he had begun cutting weight and was repeatedly pestering Dana as to whether it had been agreed yet. When all was said and done, Dana posed the question to DJ as to whether he was a man or a mouse, and in this instance the Champion took the easy way out and proved that he was (pardon the pun) a mouse.
Fans have no issue getting behind Johnson and supporting him in his routine defences, when we know that there is nothing better to offer; but when we know there was a better fight on the table, and Johnson gets the job done as always, it’s going to leave a very bitter taste in the mouth of every person that threw their money at the PPV. Dana White said it was ‘insanity’ for DJ to turn down the fight, and TJ said it would ruin the Champions legacy – at this stage, it’s hard to argue with either mans point.
If Demetrious wins this fight and then decides to move up in weight, then I’ll look upon him in a slightly more positive light, but at this stage, I really believe he has let us all down.