UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will have the opportunity to tie the record for the most title defenses in UFC history come Saturday night.
Johnson will be competing against top-ranked flyweight Wilson Reis in the main event of UFC on FOX 24, which takes place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. If Johnson were to defeat his underdog foe on Saturday night, “Mighty Mouse” will be tied with the legendary Anderson Silva for the most title defenses in UFC history. But for the flyweight fighter, it’s not about pulling alongside one of the greatest fighters to have competed in the sport, but about just setting the record alone.
“At the end of the day, everybody keeps saying it’s Anderson Silva’s record, but it’s not about chasing him, it’s about about chasing number 10,” Johnson said at the UFC on FOX 24 open workouts. “Obviously, No. 11 is the ultimate goal, so yeah, it would be sweet if I succeeded.”
Despite being the current UFC champion with the most title defenses, Johnson said he has not been given a new belt every time he has defended his title. Instead, Johnson has just kept the one he had already won in the inaugural flyweight championship bout back in 2012.
“I’m getting pissed off about that,” Johnson said. “I saw Daniel Cormier get three damn belts, so Dana White, WME-IMG, whoever writes the checks, give me eight damn belts please, and then I [already have one, so] nine if I win this one. I’ll take it home. I’m going to start collecting these belts. Michael Bisping has two belts and I’m just a nice guy, just a company man, I come here and fight and then they take the belt away from me and I'm like, ‘alright, peace. Call me when you want me to come fight again.’ And thats it. But now I'm seeing these guys with three belts, and I'm like, I only got one belt and have to share it with two of my kids.”
Just like Conor McGregor visualized himself becoming the first two-weight UFC champion in the history of the company and taking a photo with the two belts, Johnson would like to become the first person to defend in a UFC title 11 consecutive times and be able to take a photo with 11 belts.
“If the UFC wants to give me nine belts, if I’m successful on Saturday, I’ll take the belt home — if they send me eight more — then I can do one of the thing I've always wanted to do,” Johnson explained. “Floyd Mayweather has a picture with his all his championship belts, and I think Andre Ward just did it too. And I think it would be cool if I can re-create that same image in mixed martial arts. You got Conor holding up two belts, two weight champion, and I think it would be cool if I were successful and got to 11, and had just 11 UFC titles and have my amateur belts, and be like this is the road I took to get here.”