Last weekend, in the main event of the UFC’s trip to Kansas City, flyweight champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson made a 10th straight defense of his title, submitting BJJ blackbelt Wilson Reis with a third-round armbar. With this win, Johnson reminded the world why he is considered by many members of the MMA community to be the best fighter in the world. Even many of Johnson’s former opponents hold him in this esteem. Ian McCall, who fought Johnson twice, first battling him to a controversial draw, then losing to him by decision, is absolutely of this opinion. He explained his reasoning on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio.
Yes,” McCall said plainly when asked if he considered Johnson the best fighter alive. “Yeah he is, because in my opinion he’s the best at each [facet of MMA].”
“He’s incredible,” the fan favorite flyweight continued. “That guy’s so good. He’ shows it every time, he just gets better and better and better. You can’t not like him and appreciate how good he is. People talk about being the greatest of all time – I’m obviously biased – but the technical acumen people my size have to have to be at his level….”
McCall then gave his on take on how Johnson might eventually be beaten. In his opinion, it will probably come down to somebody being able to slow down his near light-speed pace – perhaps by out-scrambling him on the mat.
“You’ve got to get your hands on him,” he said. “He is so fast and so good, and he hits you with every option that’s out there, somebody’s going to have to catch him.”
That said, McCall doesn’t give any of the UFC’s top flyweights a chance against the champ – not even the scrambling specialist Tim Elliott, who nearly caught Johnson in a submission when they fought back in December.
“Elliott will never beat him,” McCall said. “He almost did the first time but he didn’t. I watched that fight live, but DJ’s better. Elliott put him in tough situations, and I know how tough he is. I’ve heard tons of stories about how tough he is, especially at grappling and wrestling.”
What do you think of Ian McCall’s take on things? Do you think any flyweights on the UFC roster have what it takes to unseat Johnson? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/19/2017.