Demetrious Johnson believes that Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman, and Valentina Shevchenko could possibly break his record for most title defenses in UFC history.
Johnson defended his flyweight championship 11 times in a row. He eventually lost to Henry Cejudo in a very close and questionable split decision. Johnson had beat Cejudo in their first matchup via TKO.
Since being traded to ONE for Ben Askren, Johnson has gone 3-1 with the organization. He lost his last fight by TKO to Adriano Moraes. That was Johnson’s first TKO loss of his professional career. Johnson is one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the octagon and was the pound for pound best the UFC for a long time.
Demetrious Johnson had high praise for the three fighters that he believes could break his record for defenses
Johnson was on the MMA Hour when he claimed they had a chance of breaking his record.
“I think the only people who are close to being that are: Valentina Shevchenko, she impresses me every time she steps in the octagon. Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya. I think Kamaru Usman is at four title defenses. Izzy is at 3 or 4 if I remember… I think those three will be the closest ones to set a new record.” (H/T BJPenn)
Usman has been talking about possibly darling in the boxing world and taking on Canelo Álvarez. He has also been talking about possible retirement in the near future. Adesanya on the other hand, could possibly have a legitimate chance of breaking that record, due to his age and love for the fight game.
“I think those three athletes can do it, but it takes a long time. Especially with injuries and finding the right opponent. Also, nowadays it’s about what fight will make me the most opponent. It’s not about who’s next in line, it’s like we need to pull this fighter up so we can sell it and make as much money as possible. Obviously, Shevchenko, I don’t know if she wants to have children so that’s another factor as well.”