After nearly 1 1/2 years out of action, Demetrious Johnson is ready to get back in the cage and add another championship belt to his already impressive collection.
Johnson is more than ready to challenge Adriano Moraes for the ONE Championship flyweight title on April 7 in ONE’s main event on TNT 1. It will be the first event of the promotion to air online and the first fight. Demetrious since his decision win over Danny Kingad back in October 2019.
Being able to compete again after several months of waiting due to the global pandemic, along with competing on a historic card for ONE, has Johnson very excited.
“Absolutely. This is great, especially to be able to cater to the American audience. I know a lot of people are used to me fighting in ONE’s own time zone, being very early in the morning. So with ONE Championship and TNT teaming up and collaborating, they pulled off this title fight on live TV. For me and my fans it will be phenomenal. It feels good that things are slowly starting to get back to normal. ONE has had many fights in Singapore and his government has been phenomenal working with the ONE Championship and the athletes. We are trying our best to follow all protocols. I am happy that things are slowly returning to normal. “
After an unprecedented reign as the UFC flyweight champion, which ended in a split decision loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC 227, Demetrious moved on from the UFC to sign with ONE. “Mighty Mouse” has gone 3-0 for the ONE promotion, in three-round fights. Now on his return he will fight again for 5 rounds, something he says he missed.
“It was nice to go back to three-round fights for a moment. 15 minutes is literally a sprint for me coming from so many title defenses. But I like five-round fights a bit more. They give me time to settle down, impose my will and my game plan, and also my conditioning. “
As he prepares to challenge champion Moraes in his first defense of the ONE title, Johnson feels very confident in his experience in this type of fight and in his strategy.
“I like the fight. It’s a good fight for me. He is very long, big, a good fighter for the weight class. His style is a little different. He is a great athlete, he likes to turn his back and lock himself in that triangle of the body. In the past, Tatsumitsu Wada put the body triangle on me and it took me three minutes to untangle those long legs. So I am looking to go out and impose my will. I don’t think he’s ever fought an athlete like me. What I do best is pick up the pace and mix everything really well. I’m not afraid. I’ve been in trouble in some of my fights, but I’m not afraid to go out there and fight. “
Johnson is ready for a 25-minute battle should he be presented. Demetrious hopes to score a memorable victory and emerge as unscathed as humanly possible.
“I plan to go out and put on a spectacular performance, finish him off, and come out healthy. This is the most important thing for me: getting out healthy. I’ve been to war before and been beaten up, so the most important thing for me today is coming out healthy. Enter with the mentality that I am going to enter and leave intact. “
Do you think Demetrious Johnson can win one more championship?