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Demetrious Johnson knows he's one of world's best, even if he's a victim of his own success



KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Demetrious Johnson might be a victim of his own success.

One of the things the UFC’s flyweight champ has realized is that in all his title defenses, he doesn’t get a new belt to add to his permanent collection. He’s just got the one. Other champs, he said, have multiples.

So what gives? When posited to him that his bosses might be so used to him being the promotion’s most dominant champion, on the verge of tying the record for consecutive title defenses held by all-time great Anderson Silva, he wasn’t sure how to respond to his own greatness.

But pushed a little further, “Mighty Mouse” can admit there’s a reason he’s considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

“I think I’m one of the best in the world – there’s not another guy out there who can mix it up as good as I can,” Johnson told MMAjunkie today after a workout in support of his Saturday UFC on FOX 24 headliner in Kansas City, Mo.

But at the same time, anyone who believes he’s been fully dominant through his nine straight title defenses and 10 straight title-fight wins overall might not have as good of a memory as he does about those fights.

“I’ve been in fights when I’ve gotten dropped multiple times in a fight,” he said. “It’s always funny – (people) look back at the Tim Elliott fight and go, ‘Oh, that 1:45 was the toughest test (of your career),’ and I go, ‘You must’ve forgot about my first (John) Dodson fight, my friend. Or my Dominick Cruz fight. Or my Brad Pickett fight.’ But I always remember the past and remember what I did to get here.

“If I get dropped, I’ll make adjustments. If a guy keeps taking me down, I’ll make adjustments. It’s always about making adjustments, and I think there aren’t a lot of guys out there who can make those adjustments in the fight.”

On Saturday, Johnson (25-2-1 MMA, 13-1-1 UFC) will do his best to not have to make any adjustments against Wilson Reis (22-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC) when they fight in the main event for Johnson’s 125-pound title. UFC on FOX 24 takes place at Sprint Center in Kansas City. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FOX and UFC Fight Pass.

Johnson and Reis were supposed to fight this past summer at UFC 201, but a rare-for-him injury knocked Johnson out of the bout. Reis fought twice in the meantime, winning both, to stay in the hunt for his shot – even though he had to wait for Elliott, who got a crack at the belt after winning Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

When most fighters go into bouts with an attitude of “It’s just another fight,” for Johnson, “just another fight” has been “just another title fight” for years now. He almost certainly has gotten used to the pressure behind it – but doesn’t plan on getting any kind of cocky about it, even if he’s a heavy favorite like he almost always is.

“At the end of the day, it’s another title fight for me,” Johnson said. “One of my coaches told me a great quote: ‘Don’t celebrate when you’re in the end zone unless you don’t plan on being in there again.’ I plan on being in this position for a long time in my career.”

For more from Johnson ahead of his title fight with Reis, check out the video above. And watch his entire conversation with the media below.

And for more on UFC on FOX 24, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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