31-Year-Old UFC Flyweight 27-2-1
January 10, 2018 Demetrious Johnson News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Johnson is set to undergo shoulder surgery Wednesday, MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reports.
Johnson set a UFC record with his eleventh consecutive title defense by besting Ray Borg via submission (armbar) during his most recent bout in early October. But after undergoing this procedure on his shoulder, "Mighty Mouse" will have to take some time off to rehab and recover. At this point there is no set timetable for his return, but expect an update on his status following the surgery. His suspected title defense against 135-pound champion T.J. Dillashaw will likely be put on hold for the time being.
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Fantasy AnalysisJohnson has now broken Anderson Silva's UFC record with his eleventh consecutive title defense. He dominated the entire way, but the finish was a thing of beauty. DJ essentially suplexed Borg before clamping on a deep armbar. "Mighty Mouse" ended up winning the total strike battle by a count of 172-22, landing all eight of his takedown attempts and racking up 17:28 worth of control time. Not only is DJ the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but he is somehow getting better. Everything he does inside the cage is flawless. Johnson wiped out the flyweight division a long time ago. Some kind of super fight with someone in a different division is the only thing that makes sense at this points.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson and Borg were originally scheduled to throw down at UFC 215, but Borg came down with an illness and UFC medical personnel rendered him unable to fight. The two will try to run it back, but given Borg's history of weight cutting issues, these two facing off may not be a lock just yet. Borg's cut to 125 pounds will be a story worth monitoring during fight week.
Fantasy AnalysisThere's still no word if, and when, the fight will be rescheduled, but it seems reasonable for UFC to simply delay this Flyweight Championship bout for a date in the near future.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson and the UFC have been in a very public dispute of late, as the current champion was asked to fight T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 213, but the fight ultimately didn't go down. Instead, Mighty Mouse wanted to fight one of the top flyweight contenders in Borg, and the dispute escalated to the point where UFC President Dana White reportedly threatened to close the flyweight division altogether. In the end, Johnson will get his wish, facing the 23-year-old Borg in an effort to break Anderson Silva's UFC record of 10 consecutive title defenses. It's worth noting that Borg has historically had trouble making the 125-pound flyweight limit, but UFC brass have an insurance policy of sorts already set, as Wilson Reis and Henry Cejudo are scheduled for a flyweight bout earlier on the card. Should Borg miss weight or have a bad cut, Johnson will still get the opportunity to cement his name in UFC history.
Fantasy AnalysisThough his previously scheduled bantamweight title fight with Cody Garbrandt at UFC 213 was called off due to Garbrandt's back injury, Dillashaw (14-3) will still get the opportunity to reclaim a UFC championship by dropping down to 125 pounds and taking on Johnson (26-2-1). The UFC has yet to officially announce a pay-per-view event for August, but White has previously mentioned that he was looking to have Johnson headline a card that month in Seattle, which is near where the 30-year-old trains. With a win over Dillashaw, Johnson, a 10-time defending champion, would break the record he shares with Anderson Silva for most consecutive title defenses in UFC history.
Fantasy AnalysisReis is a talented, solid opponent, but DJ made him look like an amateur. It was laughable how much better Johnson was than Reis in every single area of the fight. Any advantage that Reis may have had in the strength department was more than cancelled out by Mighty Mouse's speed and movement. There are plenty of fighters who excel at certain things, but DJ is the rare breed who does everything at an elite level. To say that Johnson has cleaned out the UFC's flyweight division would be an understatement. His lack of challengers is certainly hurting his marketability, but there's nothing Johnson can do about that. He is without a doubt the best pound-for-pound fighter and one of the best fighters of all time. Saturday was Johnson's 10th consecutive title defense which ties Anderson Silva's UFC record.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson has been dealing with a knee injury since December, but the ailment is not expected to require surgery and he should be good to go by April. "Mighty Mouse" was certainly tested by Tim Elliott his last time out, but the champion was able to escape with his ninth straight title defense. Johnson and Reis were supposed to fight last summer, but Johnson had to withdraw for a undisclosed reason. If he's able to prevail against the skilled jiu-jitsu of Reis, Johnson will tie Anderson Silva's all-time record of 10 consecutive title defenses.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson suffered the injury during his fight with Tim Elliott at the start of December, but it appears he'll be able to avoid surgery, which is great news for the 30-year-old flyweight. He's looking to return to action in Las Vegas, but said he probably won't be at full strength and ready to go until April or May. That said, he'll start the long road to recovery in anticipation of his next fight, which should be his 10th consecutive title defense.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson got as much as he could handle Saturday against Elliott, as his spectacular title run nearly came to an end when he was caught in a guillotine choke. Mighty Mouse managed to slip away and secure his ninth-straight title defense, however, putting him one shy of a potential record-tying opportunity. Both the date and his opponent have yet to be determined, with this injury possibly representing the biggest road block. Johnson has expressed a preference for fighting in Las Vegas, and the next scheduled event there is UFC 209 in March. Once the swelling in his knee subsides, he'll be able to get an MRI, which should determine whether or not a March return date is realistic.
Fantasy AnalysisWhat many thought would be a walk in the park for the pound-for-pound king was anything but, particularly early. Elliott came out very aggressive and clamped on a guillotine that nearly put an end to Johnson's remarkable run, but the only flyweight champion that the the UFC has ever known managed to eventually slip out and he was in pretty firm control from there. It wasn't the dominant effort that we are used to seeing from DJ, but he fought well in the face of adversity. Mighty Mouse has now won 11-straight fights and he has successfully defended his title nine times in a row, one shy of Anderson Silva's UFC record of ten. Johnson has cleaned out the flyweight division to the point that the UFC used a reality show to determine his latest challenger. No one really wants to see DJ fight Joseph Benavidez (who defeated Henry Cejudo on Saturday) again, but it appears as if that's the direction this is heading.
Fantasy AnalysisCurrently the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Johnson hasn't lost in more than five years and he is the only Flyweight Champion that the UFC has ever known. Mighty Mouse has cleaned out the division to the point that they decided his latest challenger based upon a reality show. It sets a bad president and it's a poor way to do business, but the UFC needs to do whatever they can in an attempt to drum up new challengers for the champ. The potential is there for this to turn into one of the most lopsided fights in recent memory.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson has faced and prevailed against nearly every contender in the flyweight division, so the promotion had to do an entire season of The Ultimate Fighter to find him a new opponent. That opponent was announced Wednesday night, with the 29-year-old Elliott winning the season. As expected, early betting odds have Johnson as a massive favorite, up to (-1000) on some websites. Pound-for-pound, Johnson is arguably one of the best MMA fighters in the world.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson was supposed to face Wilson Reis at UFC 201 on July 30, but he had to withdraw from that matchup due to an undisclosed injury. Although the flyweight champion had aspirations of defending his title three times in 2016, it sounds like Johnson will only be able to do that twice, provided everything stays on track with his recovery.
Fantasy AnalysisThe injury is undisclosed at this time and a timetable for Johnson's return has not yet been given, but the fight against Reis is expected to be rescheduled for a future date. Johnson has defended his title eight straight times, most recently at UFC 197, and it looks as though it will be some time before he attempts to defend it for a ninth.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson currently has all the momentum in the world, and is showing no signs of slowing down. He recently signed an eight-fight extension with the UFC, and was already on the books to take on the winner of season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter. Mighty Mouse doesn't want to wait that long to see the octagon, however, so he'll book another fight in the meantime. If everything goes as planned for Johnson, who is expected to enter as a heavy favorite, his bout against the TUF 24 winner will end up being for a UFC record 10th straight title defense. Following a convincing victory over Henry Cejudo at UFC 197, Johnson has certainly made his case for being one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the promotion, and the division is now starting to run out of quality opponents to offer him.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson is widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the entire promotion, and certainly cemented that case during his knockout victory over Henry Cejudo at UFC 197, as it was the flyweight's eighth straight title defense. He'll now enter his next bout just two wins shy of Anderson Silva's record of 10 consecutive title defenses. The timing of this extension is excellent for both Johnson and the UFC, as season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter is set to kick off in December. The latest season will feature Joseph Benavidez and Cejudo as coaches, with the winner of the 16-man flyweight tournament next in line to face Johnson during the season finale. Few other than John Dodson have truly challenged Johnson during his reign as champion, so the UFC will have to resort to TUF to find his next challenger.
Fantasy AnalysisMighty Mouse is laughably good. He does everything at the highest level and he has absolutely no weaknesses in his game. Cejudo landed one early takedown here, but Johnson quickly kicked him off and got back to his feet, landed countless knees from the clinch, and Big John McCarthy was calling off the action seconds later. The best pound-for-pound fighter and a winner of ten-straight fights, Johnson's marketability should be off the charts, but that isn't the case. He doesn't promote himself well and for some reason fans just aren't all that interested in seeing him fight. Part of that is because no one in the flyweight division has been able to give him a challenge. That isn't Mighty Mouse's fault. He's supposed to try and win every fight he's in and that's exactly what he does. The calls for Johnson to move up a division for a "super fight" are only going to get louder. People are just about fed up with Johnson destroying everyone in front of him. It's a shame, because Mighty Mouse is arguably the greatest fighter of all time and he still doesn't get the respect that he deserves.
Fantasy AnalysisUndefeated since October 2011 and currently riding a nine-fight winning streak, Johnson has developed into the most dominant champion in the sport today. His technique in all aspects of the MMA game is flawless and not only is he winning his fights, he is having trouble finding an opponent who can be remotely competitive against him. Mighty Mouse has been beating up the best the flyweight division has to offer for so long that his fights are drawing less and less eyeballs. Johnson’s inability, or unwillingness, to market himself also doesn’t help matters. There hasn’t been the slightest hint of a drop in Mighty Mouse’s game since he became the inaugural UFC flyweight championship in September 2012.
Fantasy AnalysisCejudo may not be ready for the challenge of facing a champion like Johnson, but there weren't many other options for the UFC. Mighty Mouse has become arguably the most dominant fighter in all of MMA. His last loss came against current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz back in October 2011 and he has more or less cleaned out the flyweight division. If he easily dispatches Cejudo, expect the calls for DJ to move up to the 135-pound division to become louder.
Fantasy AnalysisDJ is the best pound for pound fighter in the world. People like to rag on the flyweight division, but most of that is due to the fact that the UFC can't find an opponent who can give Johnson a competitive fight. Dodson is easily the biggest threat to Johnson's flyweight title and Mighty Mouse has now defeated him twice, This time, soundly. Johnson's speed and footwork is unmatched in the entire sport of MMA. He was able to cut Dodson off all night long and he absorbed stunningly little punishment for a five round fight against a guy with the offensive skills of Dodson. Johnson was able to land his right hand at will and he spent virtually the entire 25 minutes constantly backing Dodson up. Johnson also landed several takedowns in the final round for good measure. Basically, it was the same type of fight that we have all become accustomed to seeing from Mighty Mouse. The guy just doesn't get tired. Unless a prospect like Henry Cejudo or Ray Borg really develop, there doesn't appear to be anyone in the flyweight division who can reasonably expect to beat DJ.
Fantasy AnalysisIt had already been reported that Dodson would be Johnson's next challenger, but no date had been set. Back in January 2013, Dodson gave Johnson one of the greatest challenges of his UFC career. Now we get the rematch.
Fantasy AnalysisJohnson defeated Dodson they last time they faced at UFC on FOX 6 in January of 2013, but Dodson has gone 3-0 since the defeat. Following an underwhelming victory by Henry Cejudo at UFC 188, Dodson is the clear choice for this bout.
Fantasy AnalysisAs expected. Horiguchi hung around, but the champ was in control throughout and was never truly threatened. He was well on his way to winning a decision before he got the stoppage with one second left in the bout. Perhaps the most technically gifted fighter in all of MMA, Johnson has a real claim to the top spot on all pound-for-pound lists. Considering the flyweight division is arguably the least popular in all of MMA, it isn't a good sign for either Johnson or the UFC that DJ can't seem to get a competitive fight. It's really anyone's guess as to who will get the next title shot against Mighty Mouse. No matter who gets the chance, their odds of success will be slim, at best.