There is no denying that Jose Aldo is garnering more attention than ever due to the inflammatory nature of his UFC 189 opponent, Conor McGregor. Aldo has been hailed as one of the pound for pound greats for a number of years by the MMA world, but up until McGregor came along the Brazilian struggled to capture the imagination of the fan base.
Demetrious ‘Might Mouse’ Johnson is another undeniable great in the modern era of the UFC. The flyweight champion’s reign at the top of the division has been a joy to watch for those with a comprehensive knowledge of the sport. However, like Aldo for a long time, his fights rarely produce a massive amount of excitement from the worldwide MMA community.
In the lead up to his unanimous decision win over Zach Makovsky at UFC 187, John Dodson spoke about how he feels he would be the perfect man to play the ‘anti-hero’ role for Dodson. Unsurprisingly, Johnson didn’t echo the sentiments of his January 2013 opponent.
“(An anti-hero) isn’t something that I’m looking for,” said Johnson at UFC 187. “I ain’t sitting at home thinking I need a fuckin’ bad guy in my super-hero life. I’m not at home thinking about that. It’s hard for me to say ‘yes I need this in my career’, because once that’s gone, what’s left?
“People think of the short term while I always think of the long term. I’m more focused on building myself as a great martial artist that the idea of an anti-hero never really comes.”
Johnson also highlighted why he believes that the people who say Aldo ‘needed’ McGregor for the betterment of his career are being disrespectful to the champion in their evaluations. Having dominated the featherweight division in both WEC and UFC, Johnson believes the Brazilian had no need for McGregor to come along to have an “amazing” career.
“I think of Jose Aldo and it pisses me off that the division is getting all of this hype. There are great athletes in that division like Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas. Jose Aldo, he’s phenomenal. People forget that he was the champion of WEC and he defended his title throughout his time there, he was destroying people. Now he’s destroying people in the UFC.
“People forget about that and now here comes Conor McGregor and now everybody’s talking about the resurgence of Jose Aldo’s career. I’m like, his career never needed resurgence, his career is amazing. That’s where there is a grey area of me. People are like ‘Demetrious, you need this in your life’. I’m like, get the fuck out of here bro! I don’t need that.”
Speaking about Dodson specifically, Johnson claimed that he felt that his fellow flyweight’s insistence that he needs an ‘anti-hero’ is disrespectful to all of the other fighters in the division. Johnson stated that he thought Dodson’s claims were “shitting on everybody” in the weight class.
He said: “I think it’s disrespectful of John Dodson to say that, to say that we need that in our division, we have phenomenal athletes too. Look at Joseph Benavidez. I put that guy on a pedestal because me and him weren’t the guys fighting at 125 lbs all around the world.
“We realized that we were small but we competed at 135 lbs and we made a statement. We were really good down there. This division is full of these great athletes so when he says that he’s shitting on everybody. That’s it in my book. Ariel Helwani says ‘I think you guys need this’, but everyone has their own opinions.”
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