Demetrious Johnson can secure place in UFC history with win Saturday

Demetrious Johnson’s name has never broken through to the mainstream in the way other longtime UFC champions like Chuck Liddell, Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva did during their title reigns.

Johnson’s place in history can be secured, however, with a victory over Wilson Reis in the main event of the UFC on Fox 24 card in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday night.

The bout headlines a network television card, which also features a women’s strawweight bout between Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson, that airs live at 5 p.m. Four fights from the preliminary card also will air on KVVU-5 at 3 p.m.

A win would give Johnson 10 consecutive defenses of the UFC flyweight title and tie him with Silva for the organization’s record. He is currently tied with St. Pierre at nine.

It’s a mark Johnson has talked about since first winning the belt in September 2012.

“For every champion, after you win the belt, you want to defend it as many times as possible,” Johnson said this week. “I want to beat his record.

“I’m sure there’s never been a champion that just said, ‘Hey, I’ve got the belt and I don’t care if I lose it in my next fight.’ Everybody wants to keep it as long as they can. I like being champion.”

Johnson, 30, is a massive minus-800 favorite to retain the belt. He has dominated all challengers at 125 pounds and has wins over all the top contenders, creating an opening for Reis to get a title shot despite a resume that may have a few gaps as UFC officials continue to search for worthy adversaries to perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Despite the betting number and the shot at history, Johnson isn’t feeling any pressure. When he first started fighting, he just wanted to find out how good he could get at it.

“I’ve already exceeded expectations,” he said.

Still, a loss would be incredibly disappointing.

Reis was supposed to get a shot at Johnson in July, but the champion had to pull out of the fight with a knee injury. Their paths will finally cross on the UFC’s first card in Kansas City.

While Reis has won six of eight fights in the UFC, he hasn’t fought any of the top three fighters in the division and has never knocked out an opponent.

It’s a big step up in class, but Johnson doesn’t think it will be easy.

“He comes from a great gym and he has great wrestling and jiu-jitsu,” Johnson said. “And he’s big for the division. We knew about him because we were preparing to fight him the last time. He went off and had two good fights. Now we’re just looking forward to actually making it happen.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering The Cage: Live Interview With Elias Theodorou
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang talks with Elias Theodorou to preview UFC on Fox and becoming a ring boy.
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
Covering the Cage: UFC fighter Julian Marquez talks debut victory
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk with UFC fighter Julian Marquez. They discuss the beard competition between Marquez and Tyron Woodley, and the unexpected passing of longtime MMA coach and trainer Robert Follis.
Covering the Cage: Julian Marquez interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about all things going on in the world of MMA and talk to Julian Marquez about his upcoming fight in Winnipeg.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 218 Recap, TUF 26
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter 26 and UFC 218.
Covering The Cage: TUF 26 Recap, UFC 218 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter and preview UFC 218.
Covering the Cage: UFC 218, TUF 26 Finale preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang make their picks for the "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 26 Finale and UFC 218. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covering the Cage: Kyra Batara interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to Combate Americas Womens Atomweight Kyra Batara about her upcoming fight in San Antonio as well as Conor McGregor's potential incident at a bar and UFC 218.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like