Rankings (see them here) are still a hot topic in mixed martial arts (MMA). "Do they matter? Do they not matter? Why even bother with them?" Those are just some of the questions that many in the MMA circle ponder or are met with when making the media rounds. For Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight titleholder and pound-for-pound king, Demetrious Johnson, however, they don’t mean much.
And with the now former dual-champion Conor McGregor inching himself closer to the top spot, currently sitting at No. 2, "Mighty Mouse" says if the day comes "Notorious" overtakes his No. 1 spot, it won’t affect his life one bit.
"I told people the other day, Conor can blow right past me. I'm not really concerned about the mythical pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, the No. 1 ranked fighter," Johnson told FOX Sports. "The only person that can probably take advantage of being the actual No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world is Conor McGregor because he can attach it to his name and he can go out and land some big business deals because he can say he's the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
"There was one point at time I was the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Jon Jones hadn't fought in eight or nine months, he got reinstated and blew right past me and not one thing in my life changed. Not one single thing," Johnson continued. "Still woke up, took a (expletive), wiped my ass, poop on the toilet paper looked exactly the same, went to the gym, trained, sweat still came out the same. I think that's more for the fans perspective."
That said, the only way Johnson will ever care about being ranked No. 1 is if it UFC starts sending out bonus checks for claiming the top spot. If and when that day comes, then you better believe "Mighty Mouse" will be all about it.
"Unless the UFC was like, 'if you're the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world you get extra $40,000 bonus check every year,' then I'll start coming out of the woodworks and say, 'yeah I'm the No. 1 fighter in the world and the reason why is (Conor McGregor) just got (expletive) choked out by Nate Diaz and you mismanaged your energy output'," Johnson said.
"So the best No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world should have known in there fighting a guy that you're not going to be able to knock out to dial it down a little bit. The dude just lost. He's on a two-fight win streak. Jon Jones brought up something else that (Conor) is the greatest of all time after two title fights?"
For now, though, being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world isn’t adding zeroes to Johnson’s paycheck, which means the only benefit "Mighty Mouse" can have is bragging rights.
And Johnson -- who will defend his 125-pound world title at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 Finale this weekend (Sat., Dec. 3, 2016) opposite Tim Elliott -- is not about that life.
"Having that No. 1 spot is basically just bragging rights and I'm not a bragger," Johnson said. "I just go out there and fight. If there was money involved and it was guaranteed if I had that No. 1 spot, yeah I would fight for it but there isn't. So if Conor ever wants to say anything about it, talk about me and say this and that, whatever, that's totally fine. I'm not going to waste the energy on it."