Reigning UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will do everything in his power to hold onto his 125-pound title at UFC 215 on Sept. 9 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, when he takes on rising contender Ray Borg. Johnson will be looking to break Anderson Silva’s promotional record by capturing his 11th-straight UFC title defense.
Johnson has the privilege of headlining the promotion’s first PPV event since UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor crossed over to boxing, fought undefeated pugilist Floyd Mayweather Jr., banked over $100 million, and reportedly produced 6.5 million PPV buys. That’s a lot to follow, especially for a pound-for-pound great like Johnson who may not be getting the promotional push he deserves.
“At the end of the day it’s still going to be a historic night for me whether I win or lose. I plan on winning,” Johnson said during UFC 215’s media conference call earlier this week (transcription via MMA junkie). “So, with that being said, I’m not going to let McGregor or Mayweather or their 6.5 million pay-per-view buys water down my thing. Or the UFC advertising UFC 216 instead of UFC 215 and (advertising) the May-Mac pay-per-views. That just shows you where their mind is at right now when it comes to promoting.”
Remember, Johnson recently had a public spat with UFC president Dana White about divisional matchups, lack of promotion, and just about everything a fighter and promoter could disagree about. Leading into his latest title defense, “Mighty Mouse” must put the past behind him and focus on beating Borg, who believes he’ll retire Johnson at UFC 215.
“He ain’t retiring shit,” Johnson said regarding Borg’s lofty claim. “I’m just getting started. I’m 31 years old. I’m feeling better than ever. Training is going easy, and I’ve already fought the hardest hitters and most athletic guys in the division. He’s a tough competitor, and we’ll see where his mouth is after fight night.”
There’s isn’t much more Johnson can do inside of the cage to garner more promotional support from UFC, so it will be interesting to see how the organization pushes “Mighty Mouse” if he ends up beating Silva’s long-standing record.
UFC 215 will also feature a women’s bantamweight title fight between current champion Amanda Nunes and top-flight Russian striker Valentina Shevchenko.
For more UFC 215 fight card news click here.