Demetrious Johnson tied Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive UFC title defenses (10) on Saturday with an arm-bar submission of Wilson Reis at 4:49 of the third round.
From start to finish, it was all Johnson. Reis couldn’t muster any offense and Johnson did whatever he wanted to with no repercussions. Johnson threw combinations at will and made Reis miss wildly at.
The end of the fight came after Johnson scored a takedown and had Reis in mount position and started firing ground-and-pound punches. Effortlessly, Johnson took Reis’ right arm, quickly transitioned and locked in an armbar. Reis had no choice but to tap out.
Now that he has tied the record, is Johnson the greatest champion in the history of the UFC? He certainly thinks so.
“GSP (Georges St-Pierre) and Anderson (Silva) were great champions, but I’m the greatest champion to ever step inside this Octagon,” Johnson said in his post-fight interview with Brian Stann.
The No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world has a very convincing case. He’s won 13 consecutive fights and in 10 title defenses, Johnson has stopped six of his opponents.
In Silva’s 10 defenses, he stopped eight opponents.
St-Pierre made nine consecutive title defenses but only stopped one opponent. The Canadian was dominant in every contest except his last title defense against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 when he won by split decision. Many, including UFC president Dana White, felt he lost that fight.
Fight fans like to say Johnson hasn’t faced the caliber of foes that Silva and St-Pierre faced, but that isn’t Johnson’s fault. He’s facing the people the UFC puts in front of him. There’s nothing he can do about it. Johnson goes into the Octagon and dominates them just like Silva and St-Pierre used to do.
And what if St-Pierre didn’t relinquish the welterweight title and take a self-imposed hiatus after the Hendricks fight? Maybe he breaks the record and this becomes a moot conversation.
The only flyweight champion the UFC has ever had has two options for his next fight: A superfight against the winner of bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw at UFC 213, or a potential record-setting title defense.
For Johnson’s argument to come to fruition, all he needs to do is take either of those options and do what he does better than any fighter in the world today.