UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has quietly assembled one of the longest championship win-streaks in UFC history, having defended his belt a whopping nine times. If he successfully defends his title against Wilson Reis at UFC on Fox 24 this April, he’ll make it 10, and tie Anderson Silva for the record.
Johnson’s next defense after Reis, then, would give him the opportunity to make history with the most consecutive title defenses of any UFC champion. While Johnson’s opportunity to set this record is still some time away – and contingent on the outcome of his fight with the dangerous Reis – one fighter is already angling to spoil it. And not just any fighter: UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt.
In a recent interview with Onnit CEO Aubrey Marcus, Garbrandt explained that, should he successfully defend his bantamweight crown against TJ Dillashaw this summer, he’d next like to drop down to flyweight and attempt to spoil Johnson’s bid at history.
“I’d rather go down [to flyweight] before I go up [to featherweight]” the bantamweight champ said (h/t MMAJunkie.com). “Demetrious has a fight with Wilson Reis in the not too distant future that’s coming up. He’ll tie Anderson Silva’s record, then his next fight would be the all-time record. He’s going for the huge record. Make him earn it [by fighting me].”
Garbrandt then explained the reason for his surprising callout of “Mighty Mouse,” who he considers a friend. Apparently, it’s all about building a legacy – and adding a bit of zest to the flyweight division.
“Obviously TJ is first and foremost – I’m focused on him – but you have to think about other things,” he said. “Conor’s not fighting, Aldo and [Max] Holloway are fighting [at UFC 212 in June], so that ties up [everyone but] Demetrious, and he’s the pound-for-pound best, an incredible fighter, great human. I like him a lot and his family, but for me it’s a legacy I set out to build. Friendships are friendships, but it’s business at the end of the day, and I think it could go on as a huge fight, especially for that division because it’s kind of lackluster a lot.”
“I’m young, 25, so if I go down [to flyweight] now, the time is now for that fight to be on the rise,” Garbrandt concluded. “I really think that should be [the next fight] – after the TJ fight of course. … I’ll wait and see if Dominick [Cruz] comes back, but if not I’m going to go after [Johnson].”
Do you think Cody Garbrandt could thwart the seemingly unbeatable Demetrious Johnson? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/30/2017.