You’d hardly know that a UFC title is on the line this weekend at UFC on Fox 8 because the card’s pivotal Jake Ellenberger vs. Rory MacDonald bout seems to getting most of the airtime for the Seattle-based event.
However, UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will put his belt on the line for the second time when he steps in the octagon to face John Moraga this Saturday. “Mighty Mouse” is a Washington native who’s pumped to be fighting in his home state, having recently recovered from shoulder surgery amidst his first child being born.
The champ, who is considered by some to be the best pure athlete in the UFC, is also aware of the criticism thrown his way by his current opponent. Moraga has been on record saying that he finds Johnson’s style to be boring and rarely pleasing for the fans. However, the titleholder isn’t letting any of that talk get to him, appearing quite calm in the week leading up to the fight:
"I don't let it affect me. That's his opinion, and everybody is entitled to his opinion. At the end of the day, July 27, we're going to step into the octagon and fight. My training was good, my family is good, weight is good – everything is just really good. On Saturday, I'm going to just go up the street, fight, and drive back home."-via USA Today
That may seem like quite the nonchalant attitude from the champion, but he is just rolling with the punches. And that may be quite to his advantage come Saturday, as it’s never good to place too much pressure on one’s self for a fight, especially a title bout fought near your hometown.
Johnson doesn’t care what his detractors think about him, only getting the job done inside the octagon. This mindset has gotten him to a lofty position, but can he give the young UFC Flyweight division’s popularity a much-needed shot in the arm?