Stop Pretending Demetrious Johnson Hasn't Beaten Greats

MMA

It never fails. That train is never late. Demetrious Johnson suplexes someone into an armbar, or taps someone out with one second left, disrespects the wrestling of an Olympian, knocks out a top 3 fighter in the division's history. People clamor for Johnson to get his due. Then it happens.

"WELL, ACTUALLY....."

Video: Arnold Allen's Undefeated UFC Career

I think this tweet sums it up pretty well.

This week it was in full effect. "WHO IS RAY BORG?" Well, he's a guy that had never been finished in his MMA career, and probably should have been 11-1 going into the fight -- I had the Ortiz fight scored for Borg. But let's not die on that hill, much like many are doing with the notion that Johnson ducked TJ Dillashaw.

Okay, okay. TJ Dillashaw is a guy who has never made 125 pounds. He's never made 133 pounds. As best we know that fight was a pipe dream. Dillashaw wasn't interested in making the weight before being granted a title opportunity, and the UFC wasn't willing to budge on financials in regards to the fight. Demetrious Johnson wanted the street sweeper, not the toe-bot.

Instead, Johnson made history at UFC 216 as the most successful in-cage champion ever in the UFC. As mentioned before, he finished a guy who had never been stopped, and did so in outstanding and perhaps embarrassing fashion. 

Still there was this hilariously wrong talking point that Johnson "hadn't beaten anyone good." Do what? Explain yourself. Hasn't beaten any former champions? Correct. Because he's the only one the division has ever seen.

Joseph Benavidez would have ruled the Flyweight ranks for years had Johnson not been around. He's lost only to Johnson, and Bantamweight Dominick Cruz -- who we'll get to later. He's seen them all, and beaten them all. Aside from bouts with "Mighty Mouse," Benavidez is 10-0 in the division. His last fight with Henry Cejudo could be disputed, but let's talk about him,

Henry Cejudo appears to be Benavidez's equal. If you exclude that fight with Joseph, you have Cejudo only losing in this division to Johnson. By the way, in that fight Johnson initiated a clinch with the Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler, then launched him in the air off of his back when taken down. Ask Wilson Reis, Jussier Formiga, Chris Cariaso or others who have been near the top of the 125 pound division if Cejudo is any good.

John Dodson is one of the greatest Flyweight fighters of all time, and he doesn't even fight there anymore. After two losses to Mighty Mouse, Dodson moved up to 135 pounds, where he's yet to be beaten by anyone who actually made weight. Sorry if I sound like a broken record, but Dodson was unbeaten in the UFC Flyweight division except for his two losses to Johnson. Dodson has six wins over fighters who have contended for or held UFC/Bellator Championships

If I were to tell you that there's a 26-year old flyweight at 20-2, you'd probably ask why he isn't in the UFC. After Johnson submitted Kyoji Horiguchi, he won three straight fights and headed back to Japan to compete at Bantamweight. Also undefeated at Flyweight aside from Johnson.

I think that talking point has been effectively debunked.

There's also a hilarious one that was brought to me in regards to Dominick Cruz. There's this line of thinking that Johnson's 2011 loss to Cruz negates his current legacy. Many conveniently forget that the average sized flyweight in Johnson was taking on a rather large bantamweight in Cruz. Throw all that away and you can remember that Johnson was training part time at that point, going into a fight with the greatest bantamweight of all-time at his physical peak. 

How easily people forget. Or maybe they don't. Maybe they want to discredit Johnson for whatever reason. He's had his sponsorships taken from him, has been paid peanuts compared to other MMA greats, hasn't been marketed, has been disrespected by his own boss. The poor and outright bad narrative that Mighty Mouse isn't an all-time great doesn't need you perpetuating it. 

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