When Bill Conti and Allee Willis wrote "You're the Best" for Joe Esposito in the mid-'80s, they thought they were doing it for The Karate Kid. No, they were merely writing it well in advance for the greatest combat sports athlete in the world today: Demetrious Johnson.
Kidding aside, Johnson mowed through yet another top contender, Wilson Reis, in Kansas City, Missouri, Saturday to tie Anderson Silva for the most UFC title defenses (10). The Sprint Center has likely never seen such brilliance painted with the hands, elbows, knees and legs of an individual before.
Fox Sports: UFC and Champions MMA illustrated just how dominant the champ was:
FOX Sports: UFC @UFCONFOX
AMAZING! Mighty Mouse ties Anderson Silva for ten straight title defenses. Chasing history! Congrats to the CHAMP. #AndStill https://t.co/S9xnTSPmi32017-4-16 02:19:46
Champions MMA @ChampionsFight
MIGHTY MOUSE MAKING IT LOOK EASY #UFCKansasCity https://t.co/eQeJrMq3nk2017-4-16 02:16:57
Johnson got his offense started right away with an inside leg kick. He was active, as usual, while Reis tested the waters to get inside range. The early offense from the champion was kick-heavy. Reis caught a kick and took Johnson down but was not able to maintain it for even a half-second.
The kicks set a good distance for the champion that kept the heavy-handed Reis on the outside. Johnson attacked the body with each opportunity. The first round was a clean start, as Johnson sought the record-tying title defense.
The pressure remained in the second. The work rate Mighty Mouse puts into each fight is nothing short of extraordinary and makes his variety of offense all the more impressive. Johnson briefly slipped to Reis' back and landed a high knee to the side of his head, which was unconventional.
The quickness of the champ and the pace of the fight looked to be wearing on the challenger in the second round, as Johnson's combinations were masterful.
MMA writer Jeremy Botter was impressed:
Jeremy Botter @jeremybotter
Anyone who questions Johnson atop the P4P list at this point should never be allowed to watch MMA again2017-4-16 02:16:33
Heidi Fang @HeidiFang
According to unofficial stats, Reis only landed 19 strikes the entire fight. Johnson landed 101.2017-4-16 02:16:16
Reis was desperate to get the fight to the mat in the third, but Johnson's sprawl was far too quick. The champ read the takedown attempts quickly and stuffed them. Johnson flung in a body kick that landed as he continued picked apart Reis.
Johnson landed a quick right and took Reis to the canvas in the latter part of the third round. The champion missed a choke as Reis defended, but the challenger was just trying to avoid being finished. When Reis attempted to get back up, Johnson threw short, crisp elbows to the face.
Johnson mounted and found another armbar to finish the fight. Near perfection.
Reis remains a part of a litany of fighters who are simply not on Johnson's level. The challenger will rejoin the ranks of the flyweight contenders in the hopes of working his way back to another title shot.
MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani provided post-fight comments from Mighty Mouse, while the UFC relayed footage of his interview with Fox Sports:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Demetrious Johnson: "I am the best champion to ever step foot in this Octagon."2017-4-16 02:19:16
"GSP & Anderson, they were great champions ... but I'm the best champion to ever step in this Octagon." @MightyMouseUFC #UFCKansasCity https://t.co/DLDgkM4lwp2017-4-16 02:20:48
It's hard to determine what's next for Johnson. He's made his title run look remarkably easy. Does Joseph Benavidez get another shot, or is Henry Cejudo nearing his rematch? Perhaps, but what should be on deck is a superfight with the winner of Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw. It's all that remains. Johnson's cleared out the flyweights.
Brian Stann asked about a potential superfight in the post-fight interview in the cage, but Johnson did not call anyone out. He said he needs seven figures. Who's to argue? He deserves it.
Regardless of who steps into the cage opposite Johnson next, there is little doubt that as of April 15, 2017, he is the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet and arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history.