Demetrious Johnson unearths which three opponents he believes are able to beating his UFC title protection checklist

When Demetrious Johnson position a novel build for UFC greatness alongside with his 11th consecutive protection of the flyweight title in 2017, it used to be a large deal.

Johnson surpassed legendary middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who’d beforehand position the usual with 10 straight defenses of his UFC belt. It’s a feat that also stands as of late as regarded as one of basically the most unassailable records in the sport, even though as “Mighty Mouse” gazes over his worn promotion’s panorama from afar, he can space on the very least just a few important names who would possibly presumably perchance additionally merely rep a gamble of matching or surpassing his iconic quantity in the subsequent few years.

“I mediate the appropriate folk which will be conclude to beating which will be: Valentina Shevchenko — she continues to construct me at any time when she steps into the octagon — Kamaru Usman, [and] Israel Adesanya,” Johnson mentioned Wednesday on The MMA Hour ahead of his March 26 mixed tips war in opposition to Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon at ONE Championship: X.

Shevchenko would possibly presumably perchance additionally merely rep the appropriate likelihood. She has reigned over the females’s flyweight division since slack 2018 and leads basically the most modern batch of UFC champions with six title defenses. Usman, in the meantime, has five defenses of his welterweight belt, and Adesanya excellent recorded his fourth middleweight title protection in January with a decide at UFC 271 — even though in the event you place a question to “The Final Stylebender,” he must still be tied with Usman at five title protection.

In his UFC 271 post-war press convention, Adesanya argued that his title unification bout in opposition to Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 must still’ve counted as a title protection, as Adesanya used to be already the meantime champion coming into the bout. Johnson, nonetheless, disagrees.

“No, no, no, no, it’s no longer,” Johnson mentioned, laughing. “It’s no longer, brother. I’m the king ding-a-ling of title defenses, I’ll support you to realize appropriate now, meantime is meantime. Meantime and all that stuff, it doesn’t depend as a title protection. It does depend as you’re an meantime champion.”

Johnson left the UFC in 2018 following a loss to Henry Cedujo and signed with Singapore-based promotion ONE Championship, where he’s since won the promotion’s flyweight spacious prix. Earlier than that, his legendary reign as UFC champion stretched from 2012-18, all over which Johnson used to be regarded as one of basically the most consistent and active champions in MMA.

Making an are trying motivate, Johnson mentioned that consistency concerning his stage of process used to be a key ingredient in his ability to lift up momentum as he rifled off title defenses — and he additionally wonders if it will be the ingredient that can presumably perchance well in a roundabout device prevent any of the three names he mentioned from breaking his checklist in the UFC’s most modern “money war” era.

“I mediate those three will be the closest ones to position a novel checklist, but after I scrutinize at it, it’s handle, it took me six years,” Johnson mentioned. “And just a few of those years — Dominick Cruz mentioned this — I bear in mind I fought John Dodson in January, then I acquired shoulder surgical treatment, came motivate and fought in July, and then fought in December, so as that used to be three times in one yr as a champion where I used to be frunning them up. I used to be excellent, I didn’t care. The more I fought, the extra cash I made — and on the cease of the day, it’s about making money to manufacture to your family and crawl into retirement at some point soon.

“So I mediate those three athletes can attain it, but it no doubt takes a lengthy time, especially with accidents and discovering basically the most attention-grabbing opponents, and now [with UFC champions] it’s about what war is going to construct up me basically the most money,” he persevered. “It’s no longer about who’s subsequent in line, ‘I’m going to war you. I’m going to war you in two months. Oh, you would prefer some too? I’m going to beat you in three months.’ It’s handle, now we deserve to blow this war up so we are going to gain a device to advertise, so we are going to gain a device to construct up as money as seemingly. After which obviously Shevchenko, I don’t know if she needs to rep pregnant or she wants younger folk, so all that stuff plays a ingredient into it as smartly.

“Nonetheless I mediate those three athletes are the closest to beat that checklist.”

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