As one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, Demetrious Johnson has proven time and time again that inside the Octagon few if any can match what he brings to the table. His ability to execute a game plan and chain together techniques is simply amazing to watch. But heading into his sixth title defense against Kyoji Horiguchi at UFC 186, there are still some questions we need answered.

Can Johnson connect with the fan base?

This is a big one because as great a fighter as Johnson is, fans just don’t seem to care. From a technical standpoint, Johnson has all the tools; he can strike, wrestle and grapple with the best of them. In fact, no one in the sport is better than Johnson at putting all three aspects of the fight game together inside the Octagon.

But none of that seems to resonate with the fan base. What truly seems to resonate with the fans is personality. While Johnson is a very likable fighter, he lacks those polarizing qualities that make fighters superstars. He’s honorable and respectful which is great, but it doesn’t make people what to watch him fight. Maybe if he got a little Conor McGregor in him and started trash talking from time to time fans would finally take notice.

Will Johnson ever be able to carry a Pay Per View card?

When you are a UFC champion there are two things expected of you. First, you are expected to be the best fighter in your division in the world. Second, you are expected to be a headliner. While Johnson certainly checks that first box, he greatly misses the mark on the second.

Part of the reason he hasn’t been a draw has to do with his lack of connection to the fan base, but the other part of it has to do with his dominance of the division. To be an effective headliner, you need one of two things. You either need to be a part of an interesting matchup with exciting potential, or you need to be able to polarize the fan base. Johnson doesn’t do either at this point.

Johnson is so much better than every other flyweight in the world it makes any bout he is a part of a little boring. Fans just aren’t going to go out of their way to watch a fighter who is so clearly the better of their competition.

Will Johnson ever look to move back up to bantamweight?

Since winning the inaugural UFC flyweight championship, Johnson has ruled the division with an iron fist; besting all put before him. Heading into his sixth title defense it’s time to start pondering the possibility of Johnson moving back up to bantamweight.

After Horiguchi, new opponents are limited and most need more time to develop their skills before they will be ready to challenge Johnson. Essentially Johnson has already accomplished all there is at flyweight and it’s time for him to start thinking about establishing a legacy.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.