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Demetrious Johnson: Defending UFC title as long as I have is ‘extremely freaking hard’

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UFC 216: Ferguson v Lee Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Demetrious Johnson broke the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) consecutive title defense record previously held by Anderson Silva at UFC 216 by submitting Ray Borg with a spectacular armbar (see it) to collect his eleventh in a row.

It’s an incredible feat to say the least, especially since titles in other divisions have changed hands repeatedly since 2016. In 2017 alone, Jose Aldo, Michael Bisping, Cody Garbrandt and Joanna Jedrzejczyk coughed up their strap, three of those at the same UFC 217 event.

That’s why “Mighty Mouse” says despite his knack for making it look easy, holding on to a title on the biggest stage of them all is not an easy thing to do.

“You see champions all the time, they get the belt, then they go on a two-fight win streak and lose it. To be able to defend the belt from 2012 to 2017 and hopefully defend two more times in 2018, it’s extremely freaking hard,” said Johnson during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.

“That’s why there are a only of couple people who have done it: ‘GSP,’ Jon Jones, Jose Aldo, me, and Anderson Silva. That’s five guys right there in the span I have been a champion,” he added.

“I always chuckle because I remember there was a time when Chris Weidman was champion, Jose was champion, Frankie was champion, Barao was champion and even TJ became champion. Dominick Cruz was champion, they’re not anymore. I am still sitting here on my throne. You see it over time even Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and it’s kind of like, damn, it’s good shit I guess.”

Of course, T.J. Dillashaw recently become champion once again after defeating Cody Garbrandt via knockout at UFC 217. Speaking of which, Dillashaw could very well be Johnson’s next bout inside the Octagon, though nothing has been settled as of this post.

If it does come to pass, that fight will will one of only two title defenses Johnson plans on taking part in the coming year.

“That’s the plan, this year two fights. There comes a point in time, I was looking at my Wikipedia page and there were times where I fought four times in one year, I defended the belt three times in one year, got surgery between those title defenses,” said Johnson. “I think it’s safe to say that my goal is to get two title defenses this year and we will go from there. I’ll try to stay healthy and we will see then.”