Demetrious Johnson: Winning One Grand Prix ‘Up There’ Among Career Accomplishments

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 14, 2019


Demetrious Johnson had already accomplished a lot in his MMA career before joining One Championship, and now he can cross “winning a grand prix tournament” off the list.

“Mighty Mouse” took a decision over Danny Kingad at One Championship “Century” Part 1 on Saturday in Tokyo to complete a grand prix victory that also included triumphs over Tatsumitsu Wada and Yuya Wakamatsu earlier this year.

“Three fights in one year, I haven’t done that since 2013,” Johnson told Miesha Tate backstage following his win. “I’m tired. I’m ready to go home and rest. Three great opponents…and Im happy to come out with a victory.”

Johnson was in control against Kingad for the majority of their bout, but the AMC Pankration was unable to secure a finish in the 15-minute affair. He credited Kingad for his ability to get out of precarious positions.

“Danny is very good. Team Lakay guys are very good about exploding,” Johnson said. “They’re very good about exploding and getting you where you think you’ve solidified a position or a submission, then they just explode…I was focused on trying to get a finish with a kimura, but also trying to hold a position when I would get a certain position.”

During his reign as UFC flyweight champion, Johnson was viewed as one of the top pound-for-pound talents in the sport. After relinquishing the title to Henry Cejudo in August 2018, Johnson was “traded” to One Championship for Ben Askren. While it can’t quite match his UFC record of 11 consecutive belt defenses, Johnson is nonetheless proud of his latest achievement in a new organization.

It’s definitely up there,” Johnson said of winning the grand prix. “Nothing is going to be able to amount to [11] consecutive title defenses, but this one’s up there — three fights in a year. Just to be able to do this and win this in a different organization, where the athletes are completely different than North American athletes. This belt’s gonna go on display and I’m grateful for the opportunity to win a world grand prix.”

After fighting three times in less than seven months, Johnson is ready to take some time off. However, he is looking forward to his shot at the One flyweight crown.

“Obviously what’s next is taking on the champ, Adriano Moraes. Tough guy, a very big flyweight, 5-9, great grappler. I’ve got to go home and watch video and see where his weaknesses are at, go out there and give it all I’ve got.

“Now we’re going back to five-round fights, where I think I do a lot better because I have more time to get adjusted and be able to exploit my opponent.”

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