UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson reportedly underwent successful shoulder surgery on Wednesday after complaining he was experiencing pain near the end of 2017.
The 125-pound champion holds the record for successive UFC title defences with 11 to his name, but there's no timeline as to when he'll attempt to record a 12th following this setback, per Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com.
UFC reporter Mike Dyce posted a video of Johnson explaining his reasons to have surprise surgery on Wednesday:
Johnson's last fight saw him win Submission of the Year honours for his devastating flying armbar on Ray Borg at UFC 216, and speculation of a bout opposite bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw continues to swirl.
That being said, the 27-2-1 fighter recently teased the prospect of following in Conor McGregor's footsteps and stepping up in weight and out of the Octagon to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match:
John Morgan and Ken Hathaway of MMA Junkie reported Dillashaw as saying he'll "happily" cut the necessary 10 pounds to meet Johnson in his own division, although he may now need to find another target.
Dillashaw's coach and former UFC fighter Duane Ludwig recently spoke to MMA Junkie about the prospective champion-versus-champion meeting and why he's such an advocate to make it happen:
Johnson was an active fighter early on in his UFC career and numbered three fights per year between 2011—the year he made his UFC debut—and 2013. However, that figure has been reduced to two fights per year since 2014.
"Mighty Mouse" has managed to stave off major injuries for the majority of his career, allowing him to cultivate the most dominant championship streak in the promotion's history.
It seems the 31-year-old's fatigue has caught up with him for now and is likely to keep him out of action for some time while he heals from surgery.