UFC 186’s Demetrious Johnson: From Nothing to Something Special

E. Spencer Kyte writing for The Province about Mighty Mouse:

Despite his unique journey to the top of the division and standing as one of the elite talents in the UFC, Johnson has thus far been unable to break through and become a star with the fickle fans of this sport.

There have been myriad theories and potential explanations for his struggles to connect with fans put forth during his reign atop the flyweight ranks, with most focusing on his size and his perceived lack of charisma and personality.

While the former is something he can’t do anything about, speaking with him during Thursday’s Media Day at the Pavillon Jacques-Cartier and watching him on the latest entries into the UFC Embedded series shows that he’s got personality for days – it’s just that he doesn’t delve into the world of trash talk.

Good read, though Kyte tends to reduce the relative lack of fan interest in Mighty Mouse – given his status as champion and pound-for-pound great – as simply down to his unwillingness to trash talk opponents.

I think there’s a bit more to it.

Randy Couture did very little trash talking throughout his career, yet the personality and character he conveyed to the fans, along with his Captain America gimmick and ability to accomplish great things at an increasingly advanced age, made him an all-time fan favourite.

Fedor was similar in that he did not trash talk his opponents, yet completely commanded the attention and interest of the fans.

Mighty Mouse needs a way to convey his personality in public, so they can easily understand the strength of character that allowed him to get to the top and develop such a masterful skill-set.

Oddly enough, one way this might happen would be to put him up against a trash-talker, where his – perhaps lack of – response to the trash talk can be appreciated as showing character and strength in silence.

Sooner or later I think it’s inevitable Mighty Mouse will break through as a big draw, but it might take a few trash-talking contenders to help make this happen.