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Johnson’s quietly proving to be the best ever

Demetrious Johnson has destroyed all of his flyweight competition in the UFC while successful defending his title eight-straight times. He's eyeing a record 11-straight defenses, but the problem is that sort of dominance doesn't make him the biggest draw.

Demetrious Johnson has destroyed all of his flyweight competition in the UFC while successful defending his title eight-straight times. He’s eyeing a record 11-straight defenses, but the problem is that sort of dominance doesn’t make him the biggest draw.

Joe Rogan made it clear how highly he thought of Demetrious Johnson on Saturday night. Rogan regularly referred to ‘Mighty Mouse’ as the absolute best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC today, in an era with the best fighters in UFC history, making him the best ever.

It is hard to argue against Johnson being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. He’s completely cleared out an entire division; to a point where they UFC has to regularly recycle opponents. He’s already beaten both Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson twice and the UFC was forces to dip down in the rankings to grab guys like Kyoji Horiguchi way before he was ready, Chris Cariaso, who was nowhere near capable of competing for Johnson, and Ali Bagnautinov, who really look lost.

What has been amazing is that Johnson just keeps getting better and better every single time he fights even when he does not necessarily have elite competition to push him.

Henry Cejudo, on paper at least, was a ridiculously tough opponent for Johnson. His elite wrestling and powerful strikes seemed like a tough combination for Johnson to go against. Cejudo may have been a little too green for that fight, and may have really been a fight to two away from truly deserving the title shot, but this is what Johnson has done. He’s forced the UFC to throw guys out there just because he needs an opponent.

Cejudo seemed like a very interesting challenger but Johnson threw him to the side in an instant. Any hope of an upset was pushed away when Johnson launched him across the octagon with his legs to get off the ground. Then he wailed on him up against the fence before ending the fight in under three minutes with a knockout.

Again, it’s been Johnson’s ability to adjust to any opponent, take their gameplan completely away and win impressively that makes him so great.

But sadly, Johnson’s overly dominant title reign since 2012 has not helped him become a top draw. It’s almost boring to see Johnson fight now because he is just so much better than his competition. Who will we see him fight next? Joseph Benavidez for a third time after he was knocked out in one round in his last fight against him? Jussier da Silva coming off a loss to the man Johnson just destroyed (Cejudo)? Ian McCall for a third time after not fighting for of a year because of injuries with three losses coming in his last five fights, including one to Johnson? Zach Makovsky is seventh in the division with three losses in his last four fights and John Moraga hasn’t fought in a year and last lost to Benavidez. Do we go further down the ranking to get Wilson Reis, who is an obvious miss-match?

There is nothing left for Johnson to prove at flyweight, making the natural answer for what he does next is move back up to bantamweight to challenge Dominick Cruz, T.J. Dillashaw, Renan Barao, Urijah Faber, Aljamain Sterling and that group of new opponents. He very well may end up dominating that division too, but at last it would create new fights.

That may eventually happen, but Johnson really wants to break Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defenses, which means as long as he keeps winning that we are at least three fights and two years away from any sort of move. And sadly, that means maybe the best ever will continue to fly under the radar as crowds yawn at his fight announcements.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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