Dana White Continues to Praise Demetrious Johnson After Impressive Win, Says Critics Are Idiots
By Kelsey Mowatt
While several fighters recorded pivotal victories Saturday night at UFC on FOX 8, Demetrious Johnson’s performance likely led the way in terms of importance. Of course, Johnson’s victory over John Moraga was crucial, due to the fact he defended his flyweight championship, but the dynamic fighter also showcased why the 125 pound division has a promising future.
Heading into UFC on FOX 8, much of the pre-fight narrative regarding the main event, revolved around the debate as to whether mainstream fans will embrace the flyweight division. The argument being that the division does not feature enough stoppage victories, and that the action can in fact be too fast and too fluid for some fans to follow. Since all of Johnson’s UFC victories to date were via decision, the champion’s record served as a focal point for the debate.
Of course, critics may continue to question whether Johnson and his fellow flyweights can become big draws in the UFC, but the fighter’s submission win over Moraga Saturday served as a memorable counter point.
“I haven’t heard negative stuff about DJ,” UFC President Dana White said in post UFC on FOX 8, FUEL TV show. “If you’re saying anything negative about him, you’re an idiot. He did everything to dominate a wrestler, a guy with knockout power. He was leading in the fight going into the fifth round and could have cruised, and he takes a chance and goes for an armbar with a dangerous guy. You’ve got to respect him.”
“The other thing I saw was the timing of the champion,” UFC commentator Brian Stann added. “How many guys go four rounds to none, and go for the victory in the final round? I saw a different attitude from DJ tonight. His timing was great. He looked like he wanted to finish this fight.”
The submission win, which came via a fifth round armbar, marked the first time Johnson had finished a bout since 2010. At WEC 52, Johnson tapped out Damacio Page with a second round, guillotine choke. Since then the 26 year-old has won five bouts via decision, which includes victories over top ranked fighters like Joseph Benavidez, John Dodson and Ian McCall.
“I don’t think when I go out there,” said Johnson (18-2-1), when asked if he was gunning for a finish win at UFC on FOX 8. “I’m just going out to fight. I’m an artist and the Octagon is my canvas. I just went for the armbar and was waiting for it to pop, then the ref said it was over and he had tapped!”
“This is my job. I’ve had big fights my whole career,” Johnson noted about the win, which marked his second title defence. “I’m always fighting the best in the world. I’m training with the best coaches in the world. For me this is work and I’m providing for my family.”
Soon the UFC will have to determine who Johnson will face next, and the promotion will no doubt be looking for a match-up that can build on the momentum the champion started on July 27th. The promotion’s number one contender, Benavidez, will fight Jussier “Formiga” on September 4th.
“For me I’m all about taking on challenges,” “Mighty Mouse” said while discussing who he would like to fight next. “I think there’d be some good super fights with different weight classes in the lighter divisions.”