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Fight Conor McGregor? 15 title defenses? Demetrious Johnson aims high

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Demetrious Johnson
Demetrious Johnson soundly defeated Wilson Reis at UFC on FOX 24.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If Demetrious Johnson is successful in his next UFC flyweight title defense, he’ll surpass Anderson Silva and stand alone with 11 defenses, the most in UFC history.

So when asked about his dream opponent for that record-breaking defense, “Mighty Mouse” decided he may as well go with the opponents who can bring in the most money.

“It would be Chael Sonnen, because he will sell the hell out of the pay-per-view,” Johnson said at Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 24 post-fight press conference. “Or Conor McGregor. Nowadays everybody is talking about big money fights, right? Big money fights. Truly, I am not afraid of one man in this whole UFC Octagon roster. I truly don’t care. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen to me? I lose. I get knocked out?

“Dude, I will f***ing fight Conor McGregor for the biggest payday of my life. If I get knocked out, perfect. Thanks, Conor. You weigh 170 pounds, but guess what? I’m going to be laughing all the way to the bank.”

Johnson was being tongue-in-cheek with his comments, of course, but after submitting a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in Wilson Reis for his record tying 10th defense on Saturday, Johnson is allowing himself to dream as big as he can.

Why stop at 11, Johnson asked? He invoked the names of sporting legends like Michael Jordan and Usain Bolt in stating his case for continued greatness.

“In any sport, the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman were together, they wanted to get as many championships as they could,” Johnson said. “For me, I’ve got 10. I’m going to take this belt home, and hopefully next fight I can break [the record]. Why not go for 13 or 14? Why not set the bar high? Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the land, I’m the fastest man in mixed martial arts. I’m going to keep on proving that and hope I can get to 15. Then I’ll retire.”

The only thing Johnson’s detractors can still try to hang on him these days is the fact he’s not one of the sport’s top draws. But “Mighty Mouse” says that was never his goal on his way up, so it’s not going to become a priority of his now.

“I’m not looking for people to put that vote on me to be prom king of the UFC,” Johnson said. “I’m out here to show I’m the best fighter in the world and I think I showed that tonight by going out and dominating a world-class grappler I don’t think I got touched on the feet. Striving for more as the champion, a lot of champions go in there and they think they know what they’re doing and they don’t trust their coaches and they jump camp to camp. For me, I stay focused and believe in my coaches.”

“I don’t bash my company. I don’t bash my opponents. I don’t miss weight,” Johnson continued. “I’ve never done any drugs. I’m not at home beating my wife, crashing my car, doing cocaine, all that stuff. I’m not asking for a lot. All I do is go home, drink beer, play video games, and change diapers.”