At UFC 216, Demetrious Johnson not only broke Anderson Silva’s title defense record, but did it with a German suplex-cancel into an armbar. He made history by breaking the record, but by possibly pulling off the most spectacular submission ever in the UFC. In classic humble fashion, Anderson Silva recently was asked about Johnson’s status as a potential greatest of all time candidate, a status that Silva also enjoys, and bowed out stating that Mighty Mouse is indeed the GOAT.
“You know, Demetrious Johnson is the new champion. He’s the best one. I have my passion about my sport, and I love when I hear people talking about this. Demetrious, people need to respect [him] because he’s a great fighter. I think Demetrious [is the greatest of all time]. Absolutely, absolutely.” — Anderson Silva speaking to TMZ.
Up next, THE Submission of the Year goes to @MightyMouseUFC!!
Congrats, champ! pic.twitter.com/Gks8YxmBqU
— UFC (@ufc) January 8, 2018
“It’s awesome [that Anderson Silva called me that]. It’s always an honor when somebody like Anderson Silva — the status he [has] and what he’s done to mixed martial arts. It’s amazing. I remember my first fight in the UFC was UFC 126. Anderson Silva versus Vitor Belfort and I was there. He was main event. I like the guy. I think he’s had an amazing career, and he’s still going. I don’t [think I’m the greatest of all time]. I don’t put a lot of stock into that because, like I told somebody, once Jon Jones becomes reinstated, I’m sure he’s going to jump above me. You know what? I do believe that I have, out of all the champions and all of the opposition I ever fought, I’ve fought different styles – so, it’s getting there.” — Demetrious Johnson speaking to TMZ.
Demetrious Johnson was all class in his response as well, dismissing the claim and says he still has awhile to go before he considers himself the greatest. If the superfight with TJ Dillashaw gets booked in 2018 and Johnson is able to beat the UFC bantamweight champion, perhaps those humble doubts will go away. Until then, he’ll be recovering from his shoulder surgery and healing as he prepares to defend his flyweight title at least twice this year.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/18/2018.