An excellent new feature on Demetrious Johnson by Thomas Gerbasi gives fans great insight into who the attitude that made him the UFC flyweight champion. Saturday in Vancouver at UFC 174, Johnson defends his belt against Ali Bagautinov.
Johnson has prepared mightily in hopes that he leaves the Octagon with his belt once more but he is philosophical and modest about the way things go.
“I know it’s gonna come and I know it’s gonna go,” he said of the belt.
“Everybody who’s coming after me, all I can say is bring it. I’m always in training and I train whether I’m defending the title, fighting for it, or if it’s just a regular fight. At the end of the day, whether the belt’s here or it’s gone, the same thing happens. I go into camp, I train my butt off, I do my media, I show up to the fight, and I’m gonna get in the Octagon and we’re gonna fight. Either my hand’s gonna get raised or it’s not, whether the belt’s there or not. So it’s not a burden on me.”
Johnson has gone from being a factory worker to world champion so he is well-aware that the next best guy may still be unknown. Being champion isn't something that "Mighty Mouse" takes for granted.
“There’s always going to be someone coming up in the division or in the world,” he said.
Just in case the next Demetrious Johnson is out there, training to beat him, the current baddest flyweight in the world knows he'd better keep his head down and keep working hard. It's that ethic and pragmatism that he'll carry into the cage Saturday night.
“There’s probably the baddest man on the planet at 125 and he’s just not signed to the UFC yet," he said.
"So I keep a clear head, keep on training, and train for the best fighter in the world. I don’t obsess over the idea that there’s somebody else out there who’s training to beat me. I know I’m the best in the world right now, and I’m gonna keep on training to keep trying to be the best in the world, but you never know, all it takes is that one day and the next thing you know, you get knocked off and you don’t have the belt anymore.”