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What’s next for flyweight king, Demetrious Johnson?

What does the future hold for Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson?

After being traded to ONE Championship, the former UFC champion has quickly amassed 3 victories. Winning the ONE Championship Flyweight Grand-Prix, Demetrious Johnson earned his shot to challenge Adriano Moraes for the ONE flyweight title. The fight was originally scheduled to happen on the main event of ONE INFINITY 1.

However, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ONE Championship has indefinitely postponed all of their upcoming May events.

“The fight was scheduled on May 29th but obviously with COVID-19 still out there. I believe a lot of countries still have lockdown, travel bans. So, with that being said, I don’t know when’s the fight gonna happen.” Johnson said on a Twitter post.

“I haven’t even given a thought to booking a ticket to Singapore. Normally, if I’m going to compete in Manilla, I usually go to Singapore 10 days early to acclimate to the time zone. I have no idea and I truly don’t think about it because I know I can’t get to the gym with our lockdown right now.” Johnson told CBS Sports on an interview.

Mighty Mouse was weeks into his fight camp when social restrictions were first imposed in Washington, forcing his gym to close its doors under government order. With uncertainty on the date and venue for the fight, Johnson is focusing on staying healthy and in shape around the house.

While we are still waiting the big fight announcement, let’s recap Demetrious Johnson’s renowned career and how he arrived in ONE Championship.

BACKGROUND

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is considered as the greatest flyweight of all time. The former #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC is regarded as one of the greatest martial artists of all time. Up to this date, Johnson still holds a UFC record with 11 consecutive World Title defenses.

(From https://cdn.onefc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Demetrious-Johnson-DCIMGL7186.jpg)

Fighting out of AMC Pankration, Johnson has perfectly molded every aspect of his game. Widely looked upon as having the most complete MMA game, Johnson is famous for his freestyle wrestling combined with quick striking and elusive movement. He can land fast punches and kicks in different angles then quickly escape to be out of an opponent’s reach.

Growing up in adverse circumstances, Demetrious Johnson has come so far in life and has done it all in the world of mixed martial arts. Because aside from being one of the MMA “goats”, he is a well-rounded man, being a good husband and a loving father.

Demetrious Johnson might just have it all. From being a complete fighter to being an amazing person with humility, heart, and mental discipline.

JOURNEY TO ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

A month after losing his UFC Flyweight title to Henry Cejudo. Speculations came out that the UFC is close to finalizing a trade. That would send Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship in exchange for ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren.

The sudden news of the trade has left media and fans wondering why such a deal was made. The reason is a quite complicated build-up.

Feud with the UFC and its President

Being the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC doesn’t mean that you are marketable. Despite having the record for most title defenses in UFC history. Johnson has been criticized as he had very low pay-per-view counts.

In June of 2017, Demetrious broke his silence and released a lengthy statement about the UFC’s despicable mistreatment throughout his reign as champion. He subsequently released the statement after UFC President questioned Johnson on refusing to fight former bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw.

White called Johnson’s choice “insanity” as he turned down the opportunity to get a piece of pay-per-view revenue for the first time in his career.

In his defense, Johnson goes onto explain that he was originally offered a fight against #3 ranked flyweight Ray Borg. Which UFC tyrannically demanded. But then the UFC shifted its interest and wanted to set up Dillashaw as his next opponent instead.

Johnson, who was at that time tied with Anderson Silva with the most consecutive title defenses. He countered by stating that Dillashaw has never competed at 125 pounds.

“If TJ doesn’t make weight, I can’t break the record for the most consecutive title defenses and they have denied paying me in that circumstance” Johnson said in his statement.

Demetrious Johnson added that he wasn’t given his due as a champion. That UFC has failed to market and promote him appropriately.

“After telling Dana my reason’s, Dana angrily told me that I am fighting TJ, once again, with no other option or say so in my career, and against the plans we had previously laid out. He went on further to say that if I didn’t take the fight against TJ, and drop Borg as the opponent, he would get rid of the entire Flyweight division”

The Trade

Issues with the promotion, and losing his UFC Flyweight title, the trade came possible. In an interview ahead of his ONE Championship debut, Johnson discussed how the trade came through.

“If I was to win that fight (Henry Cejudo), then it would be just another title fight, then another title fight. Same promo and the same thing over and over again. And like for me I know I have possibly five years left in this game. And so, I was like, you know it’d be cool if I was able to travel the world and build a compete over in Asia”

(From https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/sport/2019/03/mma-demetrious-johnson-shines-in-one-championship-debut-in-tokyo/_jcr_content/par/image.dynimg.1280.q75.jpg/v1554039075721/Johnson1_1120-supplied1.jpg)

“At the end of the day, I felt that I’m pretty young in my career and I wanted to try something different,” Johnson said. “I am managed by First Round management and Malki, they’re the best in the business. I basically went to those guys and I said, hey this is what I want to happen, do you think you can get in my contract… and then Malki does what he does best, make deals happen. And boom, here we are.”

When asked about what the rest of his career would look like in an ideal scenario, Demetrious Johnson said,

“Ideal scenario, obviously win the flyweight Grand Prix. And then go off and challenge for the flyweight title in ONE Championship. Be successful there and maybe defend my title two or three times and then just retire.”

Demetrious Johnson is already one step ahead of his plans in ONE Championship.

One thing is for sure, his next fight will be to challenge Adriano Moraes. Will he become champion once again?


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