Demetrious Johnson has never been one to claim he’s the greatest of all time. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate it either.

Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time, having been the longtime flyweight champion in the UFC and only losing once — a close split decision to Henry Cejudo in 2018 — in his last 17 outings.

And while he’s not labeled as the GOAT compared to others such as Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre, he does appreciate when fighters such as Israel Adesanya give him that label.

“I appreciate it,” Johnson told MMA Fighting. “I appreciate other athletes considering me being one of the best to ever do it, they consider how much dedication I put into the sport and my style of fighting and how I approach my fights. It’s definitely an honor.”

Johnson also appreciates the support from his die-hard fans.

While many in the MMA world tend to only watch the UFC, “Mighty Mouse” — now at ONE Championship — believes the ones who tune in to his fights in Asia are “true fans” who are eager to see how his career is unfolding.

“Those are the true fans,” Johnson said. “They appreciate the work I’ve put in. They want to see how my career unfolds. They’re following my journey anywhere I go. My message to those guys, I’m going to go out there and try to win this belt for you and keep on displaying amazing [MMA] skills.”

Of course, Johnson is referring to his upcoming and long-awaited flyweight title fight with Adriano Moraes on February 24.

A win there would see Johnson become champion at his second major MMA promotion and only further enhance his legacy. And while he rates Moraes highly, he is confident in his ability to get the victory.

“He’s a great athlete,” Johnson added. “He’s been a great champion. He had those back-to-back fights with Geje Eustaquio and those are great fights to learn from. At the end of the day, we’re going to match up our skills and see how we stack up against him.”

Do you think Johnson will become a champion next month? Does it further his claim as a potential MMA GOAT?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.