Demetrious Johnson embracing role as “dark horse champion”

Tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC flyweight champion and pound for pound kingpin Demetrious Johnson will step into the Octagon as he looks to defend his flyweight championship for the ninth time when he faces the winner of ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions’, Tim Elliot.

While Johnson has all but cleaned out the UFC’s flyweight division, in an interview this week, he explained that a move to bantamweight may not be in his future. In addition, despite his dominance, many fans feel as though Johnson doesn’t get the respect he deserves inside the Octagon.

Mighty Mouse

During an interview with Fox Sports, he spoke about embracing his role as the “dark horse champion”:

“I look at myself as the dark horse champion,” Johnson told FOX Sports. “I’m not out there in front of the media, doing all this stuff. I only do that before my fights. I keep it real. After my fights, I’m never attached the outcome of my fights.

“I go back and I chill and I relax and when they want me to come do (expletive) I do it. Otherwise, I step back into the shadows, into the lab and keep on working on my craft and let everybody else have the spotlight.”

“Do I want to be there money wise? Absolutely,” Johnson said. But I like my quiet, small town life. I took my son to school today, I got to see my mom today. Not saying Conor can’t do those things, but I just like being me.

“Obviously I would love all that fame for the money. The money is nice but with all that comes a lot more responsibility where your mind’s not focused on being a martial artist. Hopefully, I can eventually get money like that with just fighting and not talking (expletive) on (Floyd) Mayweather and starting fights with other guys in different weight classes.”

Anderson Silva

With a win over Elliot tonight, Johnson will make it nine straight title defenses, just one short of tying the record set by Anderson Silva when he defended his middleweight title ten times.