Decorated flyweight staple, Demetrious Johnson long ran roughshod over competition amongst the ranks in the UFC, and is largely held in the same esteem as the sport’s greatest fighters — with many even placing the Kentucky native at the lofty top of their respective lists.
Johnson, who plys his trade under the ONE Championship banner following a 2018 trade with former UFC welterweight contender, Ben Askren — is currently scheduled to headline a ONE X event later this year against ONE Championship flyweight Muay Thai champion, renowned Muay Thai practitioner, Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a special mixed rules contest.
The 35-year-old last competed professionally back at ONE on TNT 1 in April — suffering his first professional knockout loss and the first defeat of his tenure in the Chatri Sityodtong-led promotion, in the form of a second round defeat against ONE flyweight titleholder, Adriano Moraes.
In three prior outings for the organization, Johnson debuted with a second round guillotine win over Yuya Wakamatsu in the ONE flyweight Grand Prix quarter final, before progressing to a final bout with Danny Kingad — which he won following a semi final success against Tatsumitsu Wada.
During his gold-laden tenure with the UFC prior to his 2018 departure, Johnson had lodged a promotional best 11 consecutive successful defenses of his flyweight throne; a record that still stands to this day.
The AMC Pankration and Matt Hume mainstay ended his UFC run with a close split decision loss to eventual two-weight gold holder, Olympic gold medal victor, Henry Cejudo in an August 2018 rematch — however, had enjoyed a stunning winning run prior to the which included victories over Cejudo, Joseph Benavidez (x2), Ali Bagautinov, John Dodson (x2), Kyoji Horiguchi, Wilson Reis, as well as a record-setting flying armbar win over Ray Borg.
Speaking with LowKick MMA reporter, Keelin McNamara recently, Johnson touched on the legacy he would like to leave in the sport when it comes time to permanently called a halt on his illustrious career — explaining how he would like to be remembered as a fighter who just enjoyed the process.
“Humble. Hard worker. Very dynamic,” Demetrious Johnson explained. “He thinks outside of the box. And he enjoyed the ride. When I joined mixed martial arts, I never did it to become a champion. I did it ’cause I had passion. I had fun. I was something to do after work. And he turned it into his career, so that’s all I want to be remembered by. Everybody else can make up their own mind.“