Alexandre Pantoja dreams of facing Demetrious Johnson but won’t pursue his UFC record

Alexandre Pantoja doesn’t aim to break Demetrious Johnson’s consecutive title defense record but wants to establish his own name and have successful title defenses, acknowledging that he is tired and wants to enjoy his moment.

Alexandre Pantoja is not aiming to surpass Demetrious Johnson’s incredible record for most consecutive title defenses in the UFC, but that doesn’t mean he lacks ambition. Pantoja won the UFC flyweight belt in July by defeating Brandon Moreno and will now defend his title against Brandon Royal at UFC 296 on Dec. 16. In a recent interview with the Trocação Franca podcast, Pantoja explained why he doesn’t foresee a long reign like Johnson’s.

Pantoja expressed his admiration for Johnson but stated that he doesn’t compare himself to him. Instead, he wants to establish his own identity and become known in the spotlight. Pantoja, who is now 33 years old, has been fighting since he was 17 and has gone through various training teams. His experience includes attending seminars in different gyms, where he faced opponents much bigger than him. Pantoja expressed his desire to enjoy the moment and showcase his art in the octagon.

With a record of 26-5, Pantoja has won four consecutive fights in just 17 months. Since his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter 24 in 2016, he has accumulated a 10-3 record under the UFC banner. While he had the opportunity to challenge Johnson for the title during the reality show, he lost to Hiromasa Ougikubo shortly after his victories over Moreno and Kai Kara-France.

Pantoja acknowledged the impact Johnson has had on the sport and expressed his desire to eventually train with him. He plans to call Johnson out after his upcoming fight. Although Pantoja doesn’t make any promises about reaching Johnson’s record, he aims to defend his title successfully at least five times. If fate allows it and Johnson returns to the UFC, Pantoja would consider a potential matchup with him as the ultimate opportunity.


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