What is next for ONE Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson?
Demetrious Johnson is one of the best fighters in the history of mixed martial arts, and he’s shown it in the past few years as he continues to tear up his competition in a number of ways at the ripe old age of 37. Fresh off two more world championship wins, here’s a look at what the “Mighty Mouse” is up to these days, and how he might continue to fill out what is sure to be a Hall of Fame career.
Demetrious Johnson: Future
Johnson continues to diversify his assets as time goes on, branching out into new areas of combat sports or bolstering his existing knowledge. Right now, it looks like the next step in his journey could be an added focus on grappling. Of his 25 career professional MMA wins, eight have come via submission: on the other hand, he’s never lost via submission, so grappling is already an area where he’s shown quite a bit of expertise.
His debut at the IBJJF Master World Championship shows a desire to continue honing that aspect of his game, and he’s already drawn the attention of some of the top competitors in that area of the sport. ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci has jockeyed for a matchup with Johnson since 2022, and if Johnson is good enough to win a gold medal in the competition, he could well be up for the task against Musumeci.
Another potential matchup on the table would come against fitness influencer and YouTuber Bradley Martyn, who caught flack for saying that the world champion wouldn’t be able to beat him in a street fight. It looks like that matchup is going to happen at some point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes a few more years to take place. Celebrity fights typically take place toward the end of a competitor’s career, like Jake Paul going up against a washed-up Anderson Silva on the wrong side of 45. It’s clear that Johnson still has quite a bit of gas left in the tank, and if I were him, I wouldn’t waste the tail end of my prime with a veritable exhibition match.
Demetrious Johnson: Past
The Mighty Mouse was born in Kentucky, but he spent much of his formative years in Washington instead of The Bluegrass State. Given that it’s his home state, BetMGM Kentucky has you covered when Johnson’s next fight is announced. You can bet there will be odds in his favor and you can take advantage of all the great promos they offer.
Johnson possesses a 25-4 record in his professional career, joining the UFC in 2010. After an initial run at bantamweight, where he fell to Dominick Cruz in a bid for a world title, Johnson found his niche at flyweight, where he won the inaugural championship and went on to defend it a record 11 consecutive times.
After a six-year run as the top dog, Henry Cejudo finally got the best of Johnson after losing their initial showdown, unseating him from the top position. UFC traded Johnson to the Singaporean MMA promotion ONE Championship soon thereafter, where he’s fought for much of the last five years.
Demetrious Johnson: Present
Johnson has compiled a 5-1 record during his time in ONE Championship, with his lone loss coming at the gloves of Brazilian fighter Adriano Moraes: he managed to beat Moraes both times in a pair of rematches, securing the promotion’s flyweight championship in doing so, and showing just how talented of a fighter he still is as he hurtles toward the age of 40, long considered the age of no return for professional athletes.
One of the basic foundations of UFC is Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), whereas ONE Championship prioritizes Muay Thai: that Johnson was able to master an entirely different fighting style this late in his career is an achievement in and of itself, a glimpse of what makes him great as he’s willing to use any tools at his disposal. Johnson added another entry to his resume at the end of August, when he defeated six different fighters in one day on the way to the IBJJF Master World Championship, showing his mastery of BJJ even after a few years away from the fighting style.
As Johnson continues to make a case for the title of the greatest fighter of all time, it’s fascinating to watch and see what he’ll do next, whether he faces off against Musumeci, Martyn, or someone else entirely. At this point, it feels like no challenge is a match for the 5-foot-3, 135-pound fighter, which can make scheduling worthy opponents a pain.