UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson broke the consecutive title defense record at UFC 216 after submitting Ray Borg in the final round of their bout.
Besides wanting to break the record and defend his gold, the UFC Flyweight Champion wanted to prove a point at the event.
“Ray Borg is tough. Very, very tough,” Johnson said on The MMA Hour. “I hit him with some good shots, some good knees to the liver, a couple liver kicks, and I felt that he was always going to be tough. When you look at his previous fights, the thing he’s really good at that people don’t appreciate is, he’s very tough, he’s very good at the scrambles. It almost kind of reminds me of Tim Elliot — Tim Elliot will let you get his back. He’ll let you have his back, that way when you go down for the choke, he’ll scramble and end up on top, and then next thing you know, you’re on your back and you have to get off. When I was with Ray Borg, I was like, ‘Dude, you’re letting me have this, that’s fine. I’m going to let you think I’m going to go for it, and then you when you try to scramble, I’m going to be ahead of you in the scramble, because you think you think you’re a better scrambler than I am, because I remember you saying that my scrambling ability is horrible.’ I didn’t bother me, it’s just that I just wanted to prove a point.”
Johnson finished the fight with a flying arm bar, but despite the spectacular finish, the champion says he wasn’t trying to force a submission finish.
“It’s always been in my back pocket, but I never try to force submissions,” Johnson said. “When you start trying to force things, that’s when you over-extend, you make mistakes. And so for that, it was just the perfect timing, man. Matt (Hume) has been working with me on shifting people’s weights when they’re trying to be heavy. Once Ray Borg threw that back elbow, he took his weight off, he went to focus on planting, so I purposefully started kneeing him in the legs, just getting his mind on something else. So once he goes, ‘back elbow,’ thank you, you just moved your weight for me, now you just became lighter. Then threw him up and that’s why I was able to execute that.”
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva was the previous consecutive title defense record holder, with the former champion defending his gold ten times.