Demetrious Johnson’s next title defense will be a historic event. A victory in the UFC flyweight champion’s next fight would mark his 11th successful title defense, which would put him alone in the record books for most defenses in UFC history, ahead of former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, with whom he currently shares the mark.
But it doesn’t sound like the challenger in that fight is going to be UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt.
After a week in which Johnson answered Garbrandt’s offer to come down to 125 pounds for Johnson’s attempt at breaking the record, the flyweight champ says he’s talked things over with Cody and they’re going to go their separate ways for now.
“He’s his own person,” Johnson said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “Me and Cody talked off scene, everything’s fine, its just business. ... It will not be my next fight. Don’t worry about it.”
But that does leave the question open as to whom Johnson will next face in the Octagon. Over the course of his 12-fight win streak, Johnson has four victories over the top-three ranked contenders in the official rankings, Joseph Benavidez (twice), Henry Cejudo, and Wilson Reis.
But regardless, Johnson isn’t going to give in to the pressure of those who say he needs to go up to 135 pounds.
“People say I need to go up and do this, do that,” Johnson said. “Why not be the greatest ever? UFC went out and signed a whole bunch of great new flyweight talent and I would not mind putting my name against their’s and giving them a loss.”
In the meantime, Johnson looks to take a break and hopes to get back into action this fall. The way he sees it, everything will sort itself out.
“I’m going to let my body heal, relax, enjoy this history and just take my time,” Johnson said. “I won’t say any guy is on the radar until UFC sends me a contract, and then, that’s how it was for Wilson too. I knew Wilson was fighting, I didn’t know if we was going to win or not, I didn’t care if he was going to win or not, I had my training camp and I was ready to fight on April 15. If the UFC gave me a list of their events for the fall, I will look at it and go ‘hmm, I like this fight, I like the location, I’ll start my training camp 10 weeks out from there, and whoever is my opponent is my opponent.”