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UFC president Dana White: 'Hard to not' call champ Demetrious Johnson greatest ever


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UFC President Dana White had just done an interview and was on his way to UFC on FOX 24’s post-fight press conference when he overheard UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson ask his coaches what he did wrong.

“I stopped and said, ‘Hey, coach, let me answer this for you – nothing,'” White said.

Indeed, Johnson was flawless, as evidenced by a third-round armbar victory over Wilson Reis (22-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at Saturday’s event at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

When you systematically dismantle your opposition, it appears Johnson is left to nitpick. But White sees no need for that any more.

White said he’s comfortable with calling Johnson the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and so is just about everybody else. But with his 10th consecutive title defense to tie Anderson Silva’s record, is “Mighty Mouse” the greatest fighter ever?

“He’s already the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, and he strives to be better each time, and he gets better each time, literally destroying people,” White said. “Yeah, this kid could be considered the G.O.A.T. right now, or to give Anderson Silva Silva the true respect, you wait until he actually breaks the record. It’s hard to not call this guy the greatest of all time.”

Like Silva, it’s been tough to find challengers for Johnson while he’s beaten just about everybody else. The only logical contender for his title that’s ready to go and deserving right now is Joseph Benavidez, who’s on a six-fight win streak – and already has lost twice to Johnson.

“When you run through guys as long as these two have run through guys, yeah, (it’s hard to find opponents),” White said. “But I promise you, we’ll find somebody.”

Left unsaid at the presser was what happens if Johnson is able to beat Silva’s record for the most consecutive title defenses. Does a superfight with bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt linger? Will the UFC shell out the money Johnson said he needs to make the jump happen?

Like the opponent who will attempt to deny Johnson his record, that remains to be determined.

For more on UFC on FOX 24, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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