UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson is defending his title against Ray Borg in the main event of UFC 215, and is looking to make history in the process.
If Johnson is successful on that night against Borg, then he will break the consecutive title defense record set by former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
“It’s a big opportunity for myself (to break the record), it’s a big thing I have been striving for for a very long time. I think for any champion in the UFC or any champion in any sport. Think of Michael Phelps (Olympic swimmer) and the first time he won a gold medal in the Olympics, I bet you he wanted to comeback and do it again, again, again. Even though it was four years apart. So for me, getting to ten (title defenses) is a monumental stone itself, going to eleven is a Star Trek ship going where no man has ever tried before,” says Johnson to Fightful.com correspondent Kendrick Johnson
Recently, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in Jon Jones failed another drug test according to USADA. Johnson and Jones were battling it out on top of the best pound for pound fighter rankings, but Johnson doesn’t wants to take advantage of somebody’s misfortune to build himself up.
“I don’t care (about being the best pound for pound fighter), I know where I stand in my heart. I know how good I am, I believe in my skill set and what I bring to the table. I’m not going to sit here and argue with people or fans and I’m not going to try to make something out of somebody’s (Jon Jones) downfall a positive for me,” Johnson said.
Prior to the fight announcement with Ray Borg for UFC 215, the promotion had tried to put together a super fight between Johnson and former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw.
Dillashaw has since moved back into a fight with Cody Garbrandt and Johnson is facing Borg now, which caused a lot of drama between him and the UFC.
“Yeah, it’s something you guys don’t normally see my name attached to because I’m the kind of guy who says yes and does whatever. But there comes a point in time in your career that you’ll take a step back and you listen to your peers and you listen to everyone around you. Now, it’s kind of like I’m focused and its behind me now, it didn’t effect me at all. It made me understand what I was worth to the UFC, it made me understand how much back up and how much support I have. Not just from my fellow fighters, but from high UFC brass, whom I would never dare to speak their name and I’d get fired. It’s always go to know that people agree with me,” says Johnson.
Some felt that Johnson wanted a perceived easier fight, which is why he chose to fight Borg over the former bantamweight champion. However, the UFC Flyweight Champion says that it simply isn’t true.
“No, not at all, Ray Borg’s not an easy fight. Him (Borg) and TJ (Dillashaw) are on the same winning streak, again…if it were anybody else like Aljamain Sterling, Jimmie Rivera Thomas Almeida, Dominick Cruz, anybody. The outcome would be exactly the same (choosing Borg over a bantamweight fighter),” says Johnson.
Speaking of the aforementioned Jon Jones, the UFC Flyweight Champion has some thoughts on his latest battle with USADA.
“It’s very unfortunate, another black man going down in flames…dammit. It’s unfortunate man, I said we gotta wait to see what happens, but let’s go from there,” says Johnson.
Thus far, the current UFC Flyweight Champion in Johnson has been the only champion in the division's history. Johnson does have a plan to to keep things that way for a long time to come.
“Somebody today said ‘you know what, there’s nobody who’s ever going to have as big a name as yours in the division since you always beat everyone.’ I said well you look back at the middleweight division when Anderson Silva was so dominant, the one thing that gave the UFC time and opportunity to build and maybe Anderson Silva would fight once a year, maybe like twice a year. But mostly he would only fight once a year, I fight two times a year. I’m as active as the contenders themselves. So for me to go and do that, I didn’t take time off so they (the UFC) can go and build a star up, but the way my structure is, it ain’t (losing the title) happening anytime soon, I’m going to get it in as much as I can, that way when it’s time for me to go up to one fight per year, then the UFC can go and build someone. I’m very active on social media. I’m very active in building my brand, I’m 31 years old and I have been in this game since 2011, so it’s going to be very hard for somebody to build their name in this division, but as long as I’m here, I’m going to keep on knocking them down,” says Johnson.
UFC 215 takes place on Saturday, September 9 from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.