Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has constructed his Mount Rushmore of martial arts. Surprisingly, 'Mighty Mouse' snubbed all the fighters who have competed in the UFC, including himself.
Johnson included Bruce Lee, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan, and Michael Jai White in his list of the four greatest martial artists of all time. Ironically, all four of them made their names as Hollywood stars, rather than fighters. Although, Bruce Lee is known and widely accepted as a great martial artist and the father of modern MMA.
The 34-year-old also explained the reason behind his omission of UFC fighters. Johnson stated that MMA stars haven't influenced the world of martial arts to an extent which Lee, Van Damme, Chan, and Jai White have.
"You guys might be wondering, 'Wow, there is no mixed martial artist up there,' the reason why is because I felt like these guys haven't contributed enough to martial arts that have inspired people all over the world. That is why I put these gentlemen up here, because I believe they have contributed to martial arts in today's world," Johnson said in a video uploaded to One Championship's YouTube channel.
Demetrious Johnson is one of the greatest fighters to have ever stepped foot inside a UFC octagon. Mighty Mouse won the UFC flyweight championship after defeating Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 in 2012.
He held on to the belt for almost six years before his astonishing run was thwarted by Henry Cejudo in 2018. Johnson left the UFC after his loss to Cejudo and joined One Championship the following year.
Which UFC fighters think Demetrious Johnson is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time?
Throughout his seven-year long UFC career, Demetrious Johnson defended his flyweight championship on 11 consecutive occasions - an achievement that arguably makes him one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.
According to Johnson's rival Henry Cejudo, Mighty Mouse is one of the fighters that must be a part of the 'GOAT Mountain'.
"I'm not even part of the GOAT Mountain, to be honest with you... My take is it's Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, GSP (Georges St-Pierre). I would put GSP at no. 4," Cejudo told Helen Yee.
Apart from Cejudo, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya also considers Johnson as one of the greatest fighters of all time. In December last year, 'The Last Stylebender' had said that fans often pass over Johnson on the list of greatest MMA fighters.