Commentary: Another local champ deserves more love

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I’m putting my foot down tonight - because I’m sick of all the attention we’re giving the drama between Conor McGregor and the UFC, when there’s a local champion and future Hall of Famer continuing to win titles and getting no love.

Demetrious Johnson defended his Flyweight Title last night for the eighth straight time. He’s won ten fights in a row. He’s from Parkland, Washington... He trains in Kirkland...and if he defends his belt two more times, he’ll tie the record set by one of the most famous fighters of all time in Anderson Silva.

So why is the buzz around Mighty Mouse...often quiet as a mouse?

To me, it makes no sense – and it needs to come to an end.

If we’re going to rightfully embrace Miesha Tate as a local hero after she upset Holly Holm – then Johnson’s four-year run as the only Flyweight Champion should be held in proportionate esteem. He keeps winning. He keeps representing the Pacific Northwest in the best possible light. And yet, he could probably walk through the local Safeway without too much attention.

It’s a sad commentary when loudmouths like McGregor dominate the UFC limelight – arrogant fighters with a history of domestic violence like Floyd Mayweather dominate boxing headlines...
...and the likeable guy with the perfect mix of confidence, talent, a clean history, a solid nickname and marketable facial hair isn’t more of a superstar on the world stage.

When I think of Demetrious Johnson, I don’t think of Pete Sampras or the San Antonio Spurs – the somewhat boring storylines that consistently won titles. While Johnson IS technically sound and tough to beat, he doesn’t share the typical qualities of a milquetoast champ – but in the grand scheme of notoriety, that’s the attention he’s unfairly currently getting.

I like the fact that Johnson is on the record saying that only “uneducated fools” call him boring. He’s won five of this last seven fights by submission or knockout. And I’d much rather him march toward the title defense record than try and “reinvent” himself for a couple more webpage clicks and Twitter followers.

Maybe 20 years from now after Mighty Mouse is retired and the Flyweight Belt has consistently changed hands after his farewell, will his current streak be regarded in higher admiration.

But it’s my opinion that Johnson – as a local athlete – deserves much more attention and much more praise.

Tonight, we congratulate another local champion with humility and class.

Mighty Mouse – keep doing your thing. We’re behind you all the way.

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