UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson puts his title on the line for the third time on Saturday against a familiar foe, Joseph Benavidez, in the UFC on Fox 9 main event. The two previously fought to a split decision in the inaugural UFC flyweight title bout at UFC 152 in September 2012 and the champion is expecting another tough fight from the challenger.
“It was a great fight in Toronto and I'm predicting it's going to be another great fight in California. Other than that, I still got – me and him have both improved over the year. He went out and put together some great fights and some great wins and I've done the same,” said Johnson during a recent media conference call.
For Johnson, it doesn’t matter that it’s a title fight. Every fight is just another fight to the 27-year-old athlete.
“It's just another fight. I'm going there just to do my thing,” he said. “I just look at it as just another fight. Regardless if the belt was on the line or not, I'm still going to fight exactly the same.
“I train my butt off and I don't go in there like, oh, I beat him before. I'm the champion. This is going to be cake. No. I don't care about all that. This is just another fight,” added the champion.
Johnson doesn’t differentiate a title fight from any other fight. In fact, the champion doesn’t even know where he keeps his belt.
“People come over to my house and — oh man, where's the belt? I'm like, I have no idea. I don't even look at the thing. I don't care about it. I'm just here to fight,” he stated.
Titles come and go, and Johnson has a firm grasp of that fact. He’s going to eventually get beaten, and knowing that alleviates any added pressure of a title being on the line.
“A lot of people might look at it different. I don't care about the title. Yes, I'm the champion now, but eventually, that belt is going to be taken away from me. I know that. I know that's going to happen,” he said.
“So as long as I can cope with that and accept that, then it's not a big deal. So I just go out there and train my butt off in the gym and mop the floor and still get beat up by Matt Hume and my other coaches and when it's time to fight I go out and fight,” continued Johnson. “And after the fight's done, I say thank you to everybody and I go home and become a father. And that's how I live and that's how I fight.”