Former undisputed, dominant UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson currently holds the promotional record for most consecutive successful defenses of his title with 11 separate knockbacks. And as the current flyweight crown frequently switches hands, Johnson is unconcerned if his record continues to grow in value and opinion as a result.
Johnson, who transitioned to current home, ONE Championship back in late 2018 in a monumental trade with former UFC welterweight champion, Ben Askren, is scheduled to headline a ONE X event in December against the promotion’s current flyweight Muay Thai champion, Rodtan Jitmuangnon in a special mixed rules bout.
From four bouts under the Chatri Sityodtong-led banner, Johnson has established a 3-1 record — dropping his first professional knockout back in April at ONE on TNT 1 in a flyweight title challenge against Adriano Moraes. Prior to the loss, Johnson had progressed from the quarter final bracket of the ONE flyweight Grand Prix to the final — lifting the tournament crown with a unanimous decision win over Danny Kingad.
Exiting the UFC off the back of close, split decision flyweight title loss to two-time foe, former two-weight titleholder, Henry Cejudo in August 2018 — Johnson had lodged a simply staggering 11 separate consecutive successful title defenses, knocking back the likes of Ray Borg, John Dodson (x2), Joseph Benavidez (x2), Wilson Reis, Kyoji Horiguchi, Ali Bagautinov, as well as the aforenoted, Cejudo.
In Johnson’s absence from the UFC’s flyweight division, the 125lbs title has passed hands on three separate occasions, with the above-mentioned, Cejudo, as well as Deiveson Figueiredo, and current champion, Brandon Moreno all wrapping the undisputed belt around their respective waists.
Speaking with LowKick MMA reporter, Keelin McNamara during a recent interview, Johnson gave his thoughts on the upcoming flyweight title trilogy between Moreno and Figueiredo — claiming that whoever can execute their game plan come fight night, should emerge with the belt in tow.
“I think it’s gonna be a good fight,” Demetrious Johnson said. “It’s gonna come down to who can execute the game plan, you know. Obviously, in the second fight, Brandon (Moreno) was able to get his game plan going, he looked sharp, he was quicker on the feet. And, you know, (Deiveson) Figueiredo couldn’t keep up. So I’ll be watching that fight as a fan, and we’ll see what happens.“
Commenting on the recent juggling act of the flyweight title, Johnson claimed that it would take time for a dominant force to emerge at 125lbs, akin to his run, but believes the likes of Amanda Nunes, Valentina Shevchenko, or even Kamaru Usman could usurp his championship record.
“I think Amanda Nunes, I think Valentina Shevchenko, Kamaru Usman — those guys are — those athletes have been very dominant,” Demetrious Johnson said. “As for the flyweight division, it’s just gonna take time to see who’s gonna be ahead of everyone, you know what I mean. It’s a very, very fast, dynamic division.“
As far as how onlookers perceive his run in the UFC’s flyweight division, especially given the frequent changing of holders, Johnson appears to remain unmoved, claiming that he would just let people give their opinion when it’s all said and done — regardless of who eventually lodges a dominant run in a similar light to his.
“oh yeah, of course, but I don’t really care about that, I’ll people decide how they feel about my reign,” Demetrious Johnson said.