(Photo: Joshua Dahl, USA Today Sports)
Watching the end of Demetrius Johnson vs. Tim Elliott on the Ultimate Fighter finale this year was mind blowing. Not because Demetrius Johnson was getting booed as they raised his arm, or that the stands looked empty, but just the simple fact that the so many fans of the sport have no idea what this man has accomplished. It's obvious why a flashier personality, or a bigger mouth will get more push, but the lack of push for Mighty Mouse is sad.
A huge looping left KO, or a head kick are always great to see in the sport. For my money there's nothing better than a definitive end to a fight. A decision isn't always the most gratifying thing for the viewer, but dismissing them all as bad fights is ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, there is no shortage of boring decisions. But win Johnson wins by decision like he did vs. Elliott, there is no question. He works, non-stop. Constantly moving for better position, attempting submissions, and seamlessly flowing to the next submission attempt. When he stands he trades, he moves fast, he's aggressive & he always pushes the pace. Then again, all of this is slightly opinion-based, so maybe we should focus on some concrete stats.
- 25–2–1. Since April 2011, Johnson has lost twice, both times by decision. No one has ever finished him in a professional fight, and he has tasted a loss since 2011.
- He won the first UFC flyweight belt, and no one else has ever touched it. On June 8th 2012, he won the belt vs. Joseph Benavidez and has had it ever since. He hasn't held onto it by avoiding fights. He defended 3 times in 2013, and twice a year ever since. The current fight scene will jump to call someone the GOAT just by winning a belt. But the greatest are weighed by title defenses. Defending a belt for a long period of time isn't just about winning fights. You are up against a stable of fighters, specifically training, and game planning for a shot at your belt. Every fight is an everything to lose, nothing to gain scenario. To overcome that time & time again shows incredible resiliency and versatility. He is tied for the second most title defenses in UFC history with Georges St. Pierre with 9 title defenses. Anderson Silva has 10.
- When it comes to being well-rounded and active, there's not many that can compare. He was only the second UFC fighter ever to be awarded performance bonuses in all 4 categories, Fight, Knockout, Performance & Submission of the night.
All of this aside, his last fight wasn't even a pay per view event, and overall fan appreciation for his domination just doesn't seem to be there. More fight fans, and sports fans in general need to get on the Mighty Mouse train, this guy might not be a legend of the microphone, or have a Kardashian like fashion sense, but the man is a future legend of the sport. If you're not following Johnson religiously, you're missing out on one of the best runs the sport has ever seen.