Last weekend, UFC flyweight king Demetrious Johnson submitted Ray Borg, defending his title for a record-breaking 11th-consecutive time in the process.
Given Johnson’s almost unfathomable dominance at flyweight, there have been widespread calls for him to move up to the 135-pound bantamweight division. Apparently, however, he plans to stay at 125 pounds, and further cement his legacy as MMA’s most dominant champion.
“Staying at 125 [is the plan],” Johnson explained on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “[The cut for UFC 216] was the easiest weight cut I ever had. I mean, I woke up this morning at 138 pounds and I had a delicious chocolate stout, I had a bowl of cereal after. I’m just a small guy. I saw my boy, [UFC bantamweight] ‘Funkmaster’ Aljamain Sterling, he said, ‘Man, I just broke 160 pounds.’ And to me, I’m like, ‘Jesus, you are a big dude, my friend.’ So going up to that weight class, obviously I want to be well compensated.”
Johnson then elaborated on what it will take to get him to move up to 135, and why it’s important to him to solidify his legacy at flyweight.
“Make it worth my while,” Johnson said. “Show me the money. These guys are taking concussions. Like I said after the fight, I’m not in the business to get concussions. I do not like getting hit. I can take a hit, but I don’t want to damage my brain if I don’t have to. So obviously there’s fights at 125 that seem appealing. Sergio Pettis is a hot prospect. Henry Cejudo looked good in his last fight. I know Joseph Benavidez is getting healthy again. So I don’t know see why I would leave when I just cemented this legacy. Why not set it to 15 [title defenses]?
“There’s going to come another guy down the road who’s going to be aiming for my record, so my job is to set the bar high. And [strawweight champion] Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she’s at six. So you know what, she might want to keep on going and try to break my record, and I can’t allow that. So I’ve got to set the bar higher.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/12/2017.
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