As you’ve probably seen by now, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson set the all-time record for the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history last weekend. And he didn’t just set the record, he did it in style.
Johnson hit a suplex-to-armbar transition (now dubbed the Mighty Wiz-bar despite numerous calls for Mouse Trap) that few had even conceptualized- let alone seen- in MMA history.
He’s officially the most successful champion in UFC history and shows no signs of slowing down. He’s never failed a drugs test, never found himself in any negative headlines and as an athlete is a fantastic role model to all.
Perhaps the mouse is not the best animal to represent Johnson- perhaps it’s the GOAT.
Demetrious Johnson has reached 11 successful title defenses in the last 5 years- far surpassing the entire field’s average of between 1 and 3 successful defenses.
Today, Johnson’s nearest peer- Joanna Jędrzejczyk, boasts 5 successful defenses. The nearest male champion is Tyron Woodley, with 3.
He’s won fights with one-punch knockouts, knees to the body, armbars, kimuras, now Mighty Wiz-bars… no other champion has displayed such an array of finishing maneuvers – he’s simply the most well-rounded champion of all time, there are no holes to his game.
And he’s active, too. As the table below shows, only Tyron Woodley defends his belt more frequently than Johnson- and for Johnson to keep that sort of pace up for 11 defenses is, in my opinion, even more impressive than Woodley’s superior figures.
This table shows how often each reigning UFC champion has fought throughout their title reigns.
And does he finish fights? Well, he’s finished 5 of his last 7, boasts three fifth-round submission wins (including the latest submission in UFC history with a last-second victory over Kyoji Horiguchi) and only Anderson Silva boasts more stoppage wins (Silva has 8 to Johnson’s 7) in UFC title defenses.
This table displays every UFC fighter who managed 3 successful title defenses or more, and how many fights they finished (via KO, TKO or submission) throughout their reigns.
Any criticisms about a lack of finishes, him having no mean-streak, or simply being a 5′ 3” male are, unfortunately, simply going to keep the naysayers from appreciating this rare talent.
The great Andy Bernard (yes, from The Office) once said, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
That same sentiment applies to Johnson. We might be witnessing the greatest fighter to ever compete in our sport at the top of his game, but, like many greats, he may not be fully appreciated until after his time.
To me, and many others, he’s already the Mighty Goat.