LOS ANGELES — Demetrious Johnson is running out of tangible landmarks as UFC flyweight champion.
Johnson recently surpassed Georges St-Pierre for the second-longest title reign in UFC history, and will surpass his sixth anniversary as champ in less than two months, provided he gets past Henry Cejudo in the co-feature bout of UFC 227 at Staples Center on Saturday night. But Silva’s record middleweight title reign of seven years and seven months is still nearly two years off, so that one is not yet close enough to taste.
So Johnson, who will be having the third rematch of his title reign when he meets Cejudo, has caught himself daydreaming about a new goal: Going out and winning all the major flyweight titles around the globe.
“If I was going to go out and collect all the belts, now that’s something that’s like, I’ve proven that I’m the best,” Johnson said at Wednesday’s UFC 227 open workouts at LA Live. “If I was to go to ONE Championship, win the flyweight division there, go to RIZIN, win the flyweight division there and then go to Bellator and fight ‘25, now this speaks volumes.”
Of course, the chances of the UFC allowing one of their greatest fighters to go and compete under other promotional banners while under contract are slim and none. Johnson knows this, but he also said it wouldn’t be the same if the UFC brought fighters in from outside to meet him, as it’s a matter of collecting the belts themselves.
“It wouldn’t be [the same],” Johnson said. “Different belts, considering I have 11 consecutive title defenses, they’re all exactly the same; to have every unique looking belt around the world? That’s what gets me excited, if you really want to know, where it’s look, ooh I’ve got them.”
Johnson did admit the idea tempts him enough that if he was younger, and didn’t have a wife and kids to provide for, he’d consider leaving for shorter pay to achieve such a goal.
“If I was single and I had no kids and wife, sure, but not anymore,” Johnson said.
So Johnson will simply go back about his work and go about his business of fighting whomever bubbles their way to the top of the weight class next.
“I want to fight all the guys in my division,” Johnson said. “You know? We’ve got new guys coming up, Sergio Pettis looked amazing in his last fight, you got (Jose) ‘Shorty’ Torres, he’s in here now, Kyoji Horiguchi’s in RIZIN tearing things up, so, there’s lots of guys out there, but for me I’m just focused on going one fight at a time.”