On September 9 2017, current flyweight champion, and arguably the number one pound for pound fighter in the world, is set to defend his title for the 11th consecutive time, as Demetrious Johnson looks to break Anderson Silva’s record for most title defenses inside the UFC octagon.
At age 31, “Mighty Mouse” is in his prime, and only shows progression in his combat skills every time he enters the octagon to defend his championship. At UFC 215, Johnson will look to once again defend his flyweight title and, should he beat challenger Ray Borg, it would be difficult to argue that he’s not the best fighter in the world.
Searching for a record
In 2011, the UFC announced the addition of the flyweight division, and that there would be a four-man tournament to decide who would become the champion of the newly created division for the 125lbs fighters. The competitors would be Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez, Yasuhiro Urushitani, and none other than Johnson. In the opening tournament bout, “Mighty Mouse” would suffer a majority draw against McCall, forcing the future champion to compete three times, as a rematch was set to decide who would move forward in the tournament bracket. Finding the decision victory over McCall, Johnson then faced Benavidez in the finals in a fight to determine the first ever UFC flyweight champion. In what turned out to be a very close fight, Johnson was awarded the split decision victory, crowning him the title, and placing him at the top of the hill.
Since becoming the champion, Johnson has successfully defended his title 10 times, tying the record for most title defenses with ‘The Spider’ Silva, who is also considered to be one of the greatest of all time.
With a record of 26-2-1, Johnson has his eyes set on the prize and focused on the man who’s looking to shock the world. Borg (11-2), who is vastly less experienced, is currently riding a two fight winning streak ahead of this weekend’s pay-per-view event inside the Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. In a media conference call, with absolute confidence, Borg said following his win at UFC 215, he would award ‘Mighty Mouse’ an immediate rematch for the title.
Only one of two things can come from this weekends event:
- Johnson breaks the record and surpasses Silva for the most successful title defenses.
- Borg shocks the world and becomes the new leader of the UFC’s flyweight division.
UFC 215 controversies
During the airing of TUF 25: Redemption, it was announced that Cody Garbrandt sustained an injury to his back and was receiving world class treatment. However, he was unable to recover in time, and his title fight with TJ Dillashaw was called off. As all of this was happening, Dillashaw shifted his focus towards Johnson.
Dillashaw took to social and MMA media, calling out the 125lbs champion for a super-fight, where he would look to stop DJ from breaking the record. Johnson had previously asked for higher pay just shortly before Dillashaw’s call out, so many had expected him to accept the fight. After all, Johnson would be able to defend his title for the 11th time and potentially score a higher pay with this extremely marketable fight. As a shock to Dana White, President of the UFC, fans, and media outlets, Johnson declined Dillashaw’s offer to fight and asked for Borg to be his next challenge.
Johnson told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he wanted to defend his title against a flyweight contender who has worked their way through the rankings, not just somebody jumping division to make a big fight.
To fight Dillashaw, Johnson wanted some guarantees. If Dillashaw couldn’t make weight for their bout, DJ would receive his full purse. In negotiations, the UFC offered Borg as a last-minute replacement if Dillashaw couldn’t make the 125lbs limit, but that wasn’t good enough for the champion.
Ultimately, White and the UFC match makers gave Johnson the fight he was looking for. White then said:
You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg.
I’m sure the fans will be clamoring, ticket sales will be through the roof and pay-per-views will be off the charts.
Your wish is my command
After weeks and weeks of controversy, Johnson and Borg are set to headline UFC 215 at Rogers Place, in Edmonton, Alberta. The event is also co-headlined by Amanda Nunes, the current bantamweight champion, and Valentina Shevchenko, the challenger.
With a win in the main event, Johnson will go down as one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, surpassing names like Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Chuck Liddell, and many more. His skills are undeniable, and at 31 years of age, Johnson could completely dominate the sport of MMA in his remaining time as a competitor and a champion.
UFC 215 schedule
- Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg (UFC Flyweight Championship Bout)
- Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko (UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout)
- Rafael dos Anjos vs. Neil Magny
- Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
- Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
- Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
- Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
- Sarah Moras vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
- Gavin Tucker vs. Rick Glenn
- Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique Da Silva
- Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins
- Mitch Clarke vs. Alex White
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