Exclusive: Mighty Mouse on Being on the Pound-For-Pound List, Aldo-Edgar and The Success of the WEC Fighters
To read part one of our interview with Mighty Mouse click here:
Most fighters will tell you they’d like to fight a minimum of four times a year, but unfortunately between injuries and in Johnson’s case, the soon to be birth of his son, things don’t always go as planned.
“My goal is to fight three times this year and with the birth of my child I want to get one more fight in before he’s here, and then hopefully I’ll fight during the winter time,” Johnson offered. “It all depends on how my body heals, my body still aches and my right shoulder still hurts. I want to give my body the proper time to heal up because I don’t want to go in to training camp and have my shoulder still hurting. Next thing you know I have to go in for surgery, I just want to take my time, but I want to get in three fights this year. I got one down so I got two more to go.”
With wins over Dodson, Benavidez and McCall at 125 along with wins over some of the top contenders in the bantamweight division, Johnson has to be considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. McCall told us that he doesn’t believe Johnson gets the credit he deserves when it comes to talk of the best fighters in the world. Johnson is more interested in improving as a fighter and racking up the wins, he’d rather let his fighting do the talking. That’s not to say he doesn’t find the all the talk of him in the same breath with some of the top fighters in mixed martial arts flattering.
“It’s an honor for people to consider me in that category,” said Johnson. “I’m not the guy who’s going to say that I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I just think that I’m a great fighter and I still have a lot to improve on. I’m going to keep on doing it until someone says I’m up there with Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva and I’m fighting at the level of all of those guys.”
Considering he brought up Aldo it only seemed natural to get Johnson’s take on the Frankie Edgar-Jose Aldo featherweight title fight that occupies the main event slot of UFC 156 this weekend. It is without a doubt one of the most highly anticipated fights in a very long time and has everyone talking about it.
“I think Aldo’s going to keep that belt, he’s fast, he’s explosive and he’s a big dude,” the Matt Hume trained flyweight said. “I don’t see any weaknesses in his game, but Edgar is no slouch either. He’s got great combos, he’s got great footwork and he’s got great cardio. We’ll see how that matches up, I like Aldo. He’s one of my favorite fighters to watch and I enjoy his fighting style.”
With the recent influx of Strikeforce fighters to the UFC it brings back memories of when the WEC guys started making their way in to the Octagon. As it stands today five former WEC fighters currently hold UFC titles including Johnson (Flyweight), Dominick Cruz (Bantamweight), Renan Barao (Interim Bantamweight), Aldo (Featherweight) and Benson Henderson (Lightweight). There weren’t too many people who could say they saw that coming, but Johnson understood how talented the WEC fighters were and their success has given them a real sense of pride.
“It makes me happy and Henderson is probably the leader and is the only guy to wear a belt in the WEC and the UFC,” Johnson stated. “Anthony Pettis has done a great job as has Donald Cerrone. We were the head dogs in the WEC and have carried that torch into the UFC.”
One interesting fact that not everyone may be aware of is that Johnson, Benavidez and Dodson all have 20 professional bouts (In Benavidez’s case, 19) each and have yet to be finished. That just goes to show you that while they may be small in stature, they are just as tough as any of the larger weight class fighters and have just as much heart and determination.
“We’re just trying to let everyone know that just because we’re 125lbs it doesn’t mean that the average Joe on the couch can beat us up,” said the nearly six year veteran. “We’re hoping to keep making strides and making our mark. I think Benavidez and McCall are going to do a great job this Saturday of building this weight class up.”