Heading into this weekend’s return to FOX, Demetrious Johnson stands on the precipice of history, one victory away from equaling Anderson Silva’s record for the most consecutive successful title defenses in UFC history.
In a time when prospects pontificate about their championship destiny before even setting foot in the octagon and champions speak of chasing a second title before they’ve defended their own belt once, Johnson is an anomaly. He’s a competitor focused solely on perfecting his craft and piling up victories, content to chase history without much fanfare while paying no mind to those who fail to recognize his greatness and the difficulty of accomplishing what he is.
“I just try to stay focused and not let things get in the way of my vision,” Johnson said when asked how he’s avoided the hiccups and hurdles that have prevented all but three fighters — Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre — from amassing as many consecutive victories inside the Octagon as he has heading into Saturday’s main event showdown with Wilson Reis.
“You have people calling me out, people saying there is no talent in the division and all that stuff, but I don’t focus on that stuff or getting everybody to say, ‘What he’s doing is awesome.’ I’m focused on my ultimate goal, which is to be the best fighter in the world.”
Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Images