Will Mighty Mouse Finally Get The Respect He Deserves After Masterful UFC 216 Finish?
History was made tonight, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson scored his 11th victory breaking the record previously held by Anderson Silva. Johnson defeated Ray Borg via fifth round arm bar submission, but the story is in the set up.
Midway through the 5th round of a fight in which Johnson administered an old school beating to his opponent, Borg gave his back as he attempted to fight off a takedown. Johnson toyed with him smiling to commentator DC, when just as the moment presented itself he snatched up Borg suplexing him to the ground, while in mid air positioning himself for a vise like arm bar. By the time Ray Borg hit the ground from the suplex he was caught dead ti rights, and presented with two options, tap or snap.
Borg to his credit tried his best to fight off inevitability, and in all likelyhood sustained an arm injury for his efforts, but in the end was forced to tap. Hats off to Ray Borg, let no one question his heart and toughness, not only did he take a pretty sound beating throughout the fight, a lesser (or some may say smarter) man would have tapped as soon as they realized there was no escape but Borg hung in there until the bitter end. The win brings Mighty Mouse to a UFC record of 27-2-1 and brings us to our next question, will the win finally be enough to silence the hate for good?
I like many initially cast dispersion in the direction of Mighty Mouse, I can remember thinking his fights were boring as he in the beginning of his run won most of them by decision. But as he continued to rack up Ws I began to come to a realization of just how artful his performances were. For me the turn came in the 2nd John Dodson fight, I thought the 1st was a fluke but after watching him demolish Dodson in the second fight I must say I took notice.
When you actually analyze Johnson's fights you see things that not only no one else has done but you question if they could do them. Johnson is the perfect all around MMA fighter, if you are training a kid to potentially fight MMA then you want to show the tapes of DJ. If you seek to wrestle, he beats you with strikes, if you think you have a striking edge he beats you on the ground. Just when you think he has peaked, he beats world class guys at their own game (see the Wilson Reis fight).
We've heard all the stories of why DJ is not more popular, form being too small to not being vocal enough MMA fans in general have found countless reasons not to give credit where it is due. But one thing's for sure, numbers don't lie and if you have watched his last 5 out of 6 fights it's very hard to say he is not entertaining. So the question arises, now that he has broken the record of arguably the greatest fighter in MMA's history does this make him the new crowned king of pound for pound TBE?
In my eyes yes it does. I can remember watching Anderson Silva go on his historic run thinking, wow this is once in a lifetime dominance. For years there was actually a feeling that the Spider was truly unbeatable, you can't help but get that same feeling when DJ fights at 125. There is no one in the 125 pound class that poses very much threat to Johnson so if he wanted he could pad the record for quite some time.
The next question is what's next? Now that he has broken the record, what is left for Mighty Mouse? Certainly not much in the 125 division, as if any one has cleaned out a weight class DJ has. Fans are clamoring for a "Super Fight" between DJ and TJ Dillashaw or Cody Garbrandt, but to our chagrin DJ has repeatedly expressed limited interest at best in the idea. Perhaps now that he has broken the all time title deference record he will be at peace with going back up.
Remember DJ once fought at 135, he experienced some success but ultimately fell short against former 135 lb champ Dominick Cruz. Perhaps this is the reason he is reluctant to move back up nut I would not speculate. Either way, "Super Fight" it would be and I hope we one day get to see it. Till then, congrats to the G.O.A.T Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson.