UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is coming off one his biggest wins of his career as he made his 11th consecutive title defense last Saturday at UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada over Rae Borg by submission in the fifth round.
Following that bout, the big question that is on everyone’s minds is what’s next for the UFC champion. He does have some options. He could defend his title again, or he could move up in weight for a possible super-fight at 135-pounds.
If you recall, Johnson did begin his career as a bantamweight. However, he decided to move down to flyweight when the UFC opened up the division in 2012, and since then, his career took off.
During an appearance on this week’s episode of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Johnson went on record by stating that he is willing to make the jump back up, but only if it comes with better compensation.
“Make it worth my while. Show me the money,” Johnson said on Monday’s MMA Hour episode (via MMA Fighting). “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.”
Until then, Johnson stated that he is staying put at flyweight and is looking for his next challenger and wants to keep his record for the most title defenses in the UFC.
“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 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, that why she’s like, ‘F–k that, I’m not going to go for 20. I’m done. I did eight or nine, I’m done.’”