When Demetrious Johnson enters the Octagon on Saturday night to defend his flyweight title against “Ultimate Fighter” winner Tim Elliott he’ll be one step closer to making history.
The main event bout against Elliott will be Johnson’s ninth consecutive title defense, which puts him just one win away from tying Anderson Silva’s all time UFC record as middleweight champion with 10 consecutive defenses.
Breaking that record and making history are both important to Johnson, but he doesn’t expect the red carpet to be rolled out for him or that he’s suddenly going to be come the most marketable fighter on the UFC roster.
In fact, Johnson has remained the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport while quietly going about his business and rarely making headlines for anything other than his jaw dropping performances inside the Octagon.
As much as Johnson would enjoy the financial windfall that comes from being one of the most boisterous and talked about fighters on the roster like Conor McGregor, he’s happy with his current status as the best in the world whether he’s a household name or not.
“I look at myself as the dark horse champion,” Johnson told FOX Sports. “I’m not out there in front of the media, doing all this stuff. I only do that before my fights. I keep it real. After my fights, I’m never attached the outcome of my fights.
“I go back and I chill and I relax and when they want me to come do (expletive) I do it. Otherwise, I step back into the shadows, into the lab and keep on working on my craft and let everybody else have the spotlight.”
Johnson is certainly driven by accomplishment but more than anything he’s in this sport to make as much money as possible to provide for his wife and children.
At the same time, Johnson enjoys the anonymity versus the lifestyle someone like McGregor must lead where he can’t even leave his house without paparazzi snapping photos or digging into every facet of his life no matter how private it might be.
“Do I want to be there money…