Demetrious Johnson ready get ONE Championship career going
Santino Honasan on Mar 30, 2019 09:15 AM
"I’m just looking forward to being able to fight in front of a Japanese fanbase, I’ve never competed over on this side of the world, and it’s been a long time coming." - Demetrious Johnson
Aside from the four massive world championship bouts, arguably the most anticipated part of ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, Japan will be the highly-anticipated debuts of a pair of North American mixed martial arts stars, one of them being none other than former UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson.
Widely considered as one of the best, if not the best flyweight fighter in the world, Johnson made his way to ONE Championship via the the first-ever trade in MMA history, which also involved former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren.
Now, Johnson finally gets to showcase his skills inside the ONE cage, and he gets to be able to do it on the biggest card in ONE history.
"I’m excited to be part of ONE Championship here in Japan, it’s a historical event, four world title fights," said Johnson.
For the 32-year old fightng out of Washington, being able to fight in Japan, he says, has long been a dream.
"I’m just looking forward to being able to fight in front of a Japanese fanbase, I’ve never competed over on this side of the world, and it’s been a long time coming."
"Now I’m just ready to go out there and give people what they want to see, it’s me being able to compete," he added.
Johnson will be part of the eight-man ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix tournament, where the winner will get a world title shot. He meets Japanese striker Yuya Wakamatsu in the quarterfinals.
For "Mighty Mouse" being able to participate in a gran prix style tournament, in Japan no less, is definitely a source of excitement.
"It’s awesome. Like I said, it’s a historical event, four world title fights, to be able to be part of the World Grand Prix here in Japan, where I believe the world grand prix started, that kind of format to decide who is the best to go on and fight for the world championship."
"It feels good, I’m pumped and I ready to go out there, and I hope I don’t disappoint," he added.
With a new era dawning on Johnson's career, the former pound-for-pound king also revealed that this could be the final act in his storied career. Johnson has been competing since 2007, and plans to keep going for about half a decade more.
"[Like I said], This is the last chapter of my career, I’ll probably put four or five good years here in ONE Championship and walk away from the sport like ‘Peace! I’m done!’, ride off into the sunset and just chill and hang out with my kids," he shared.
With around four or five years left in his career, Johnson plans to make the most out of his tenure in ONE Championship, which means ultimately becoming the division's flyweight king.
Johnson hopes takes the first step towards that goal on Sunday at ONE: A New Era.
Catch ONE: A New Era on Sunday, March 31st, LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD channel 166, and livestreaming on https://sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/one, the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page, and on the iWant App!