Despite nine consecutive title defenses – and the opportunity to tie Anderson Silva’s longstanding record of 10 in tonight’s UFC on FOX 24 headliner – UFC flyweight champion isn’t ready to write off the competition.
Tonight, Johnson (25-2-1 MMA, 13-1-1 UFC), who’s No. 1 in both the USA TODAY Sports and , takes on challenger Wilson Reis (22-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the network-televised main event.
UFC on FOX 24 takes place at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., and it airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Johnson, 30, has won 11 straight fights overall, and at the sports books, he’s nearly a 9-1 (-850) favorite heading into tonight’s bout. That, of course, is nothing new; he’s been the favorite for his past 10 bouts, and past odds have climbed as high as -1500 on fight night.
So, how does he think when people say the dominant champ has no competition?
“That’s the stupidest thing to say,” he recently told MMAjunkie.
The champ explained that any fighter’s successful run, including light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s, can lead to complaints of overmatched competition. However, Johnson said he’s faced a steady stream of new opponents – ones with a variety of skills – and that they’re all credible challenges. And he expects more to keep showing up in the octagon.
“To say there’s no competition, that’s like being disrespectful to Usain Bolt – ‘There’s no competition, and and you’re the fastest man on the planet,’” Johnson said of the man who’s wildly regarded as the world’s greatest sprinter of all tim. “He (just shrugs).
“As an athlete, you don’t look at that. That’s what the fans, the public say. I don’t look at that. I go out there and compete and do my job.”
Check out the full conversation above.
And for more on , check out the section of the site.