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Five Reasons Demetrious Johnson Still Isn’t The GOAT

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Last night (Sat. April 15, 2017) at UFC on FOX 24 from Kansas City, Missouri, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson furthered his case for being the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, when he defeated Wilson Reis via third-round submission to defend his 125-pound title for a record tenth consecutive time.

‘Mighty Mouse’ tied the record held by former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Although Johnson has looked dominant for the past few years as the undisputed champion at 125 pounds, there are still a few clear reasons why we still can’t consider him the greatest of all time (GOAT) quite yet.

Here are LowKickMMA’s top five reasons that Johnson still is not the greatest MMA fighter of all-time.

Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Level Of Competition

Racking up 10 consecutive title defenses in no easy task; however, Johnson’s level of competition isn’t exactly up to par with those that he battles with for the moniker of greatest of all time.

Many of the names in the flyweight champ’s list of victims don’t necessarily stick out to anyone; such as John Moraga, Ali Bagautinov, Chris Cariaso, a young Kyoji Horiguchi, Tim Elliott, and Wilson Reis. Moraga is currently on a three-fight losing streak and is now ranked outside of the top ten.

Bagautinov has lost three of his last four Octagon appearances and is no longer with the UFC. He has not participated in MMA competition since November of 2016 when he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Kyoji Horiguchi.

Cariaso always had a very up-and-down career at 125 pounds, and lost two more back-to-back fights following his loss to Johnson before calling it a career in October of 2015. Kyoji Horiguchi was handed a shot at Johnson’s throne after three Octagon wins against lackluster competition, not to mention ‘The Supernova’ was extremely young when he took on ‘Mighty Mouse.’

Horiguchi has since decided not to renew his contract with the promotion and instead does his work for RIZIN nowadays. Elliott suffered a three-fight losing streak before being cut by the UFC in 2015. He went on to lighter competition under the Titan FC banner and returned to an unsuccessful title challenge against Johnson.

And last but not least we have Reis, whom Johnson made easy work of yesterday, and whose only notable win heading into his title bout on a three-fight win streak was against No. 8-ranked Dustin Ortiz.

This level of competition is just not quite up to the caliber for a fighter whom could be considered the GOAT.

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  • Murdock

    I agree with number 5.

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    “Level Of Competition”

    He seems dominant enough
    But its hard to put that in perspective when I’ve never heard of any of the dudes who he’s fought other then Cruz

    And kind of like anderson silva still beating up on a thin 185 division years after he cleared it out, DJ has nothing left to prove at 125

    If he’s skilled enough it should offset any size disadvantage by moving up and fighting some more familiar faces

    • JamesC

      i slightly disagree. He would not be going in fighting the number 5 ranked guy at BW. He would be fighting one of the top 3 guys, all who held the strap. Those guys are VERY skilled and have few holes. So although DJ might have a slight skill advantage (and it would be slight…Cruz and Dillashaw have sooo many tools) that the size advantage might win out. That is how it played out in the Cruz fight…which was not all that close. Dillishaw would be the most interesting fight because I think he is not that much bigger than DJ and is almost as fast. Cruz is too big. I dont mention Cody…because tbh…I dont see him getting past TJ. I think he beat an older slower Cruz.

      • Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

        TJ will dominate Cody from start to finish.

        I agree with every word of your post. I too would be interested to see TJ v the mouse. Both brilliantly skilled and not much size difference.

  • Jess Fenchley

    He may best the best of the little men, and that is all. Don’t even try to compare him to guys in higher weight classes, he would get killed.

  • JamesC

    Its tough because little guys can do things big guys cannot. The level of competition argument is weak because he is beating the best guys at the weight easily (McCall, Benzvides, Dodson, Cejudo). The reason those guys arent big names is beause of DJ’s success and the lighter weight class. Plus nobody in that division including DJ is a talker. Jones, Silva, and GSP ran into talkers who helped build their fights.

    DJ is so damn dominant that it doesnt make sense to talk. From a technical stand point. DJ is great everywhere and can do everything. I dare you to find a hole in his game. I dare you to find an aspect of his game that he is not above average in. GSP and Bones lack KO power. Silva lacks the wrestling. They have holes and their is a blue print of possibly how to beat them.

    Anderson has not fought high level comp nor has Jones at another weight (sorry James Irvin and old Forrest). In truth Jones success has been in part to his size advantage. GSP beating Bisping…makes it a bit of a conversation. DJ had a good fight with Cruz and beat Torres and Kid Yamamoto towards their end at BW. So he can be successful at multiple weights.

    For my money…their are guys who dont get mentioned in the GOAT talk that are as good or better than Jones, Silva, and GSP (Cain Velasquez, Jose Aldo, Dominick Cruz, Daniel Cormier). I think if DC beats Jones, Cain wins the title again, Aldo beats McGregor or Cruz regains the strap…those guys are all in the conversation.

    All that being said…from a technical standpoint. If every fighters was the same size. DJ has more skills than ANYONE!!! If this is a popularity contest…well then Conor is the GOAT!!!!

  • synyster

    DJ has faced way better comp then Jon lol… Jons comp was good in 2010 most of them are over the hill legends

    • Murdock

      DJ’s opponents aren’t even high level competition other than McCall, Dodson and Benavidez. The rest fought tomato cans prior to fighting Johnson and dropped out of the top 10 or the UFC post title fight.

      The majority of Jones’ opponents were legit top 10 light heavyweights at the time minus Sonnen.