Former UFC flyweight Demetrious Johnson says he’s planning to retire at One Championship who he joined in late 2018. The 33-year-old was involved in an historic trade deal between the two promotions, which saw Ben Askren head to the UFC and ‘DJ’ to the Asian powerhouse.
Despite losing a split decision to Henry Cejudo in his last UFC fight, Johnson was and still is considered one of the best fighters on the planet. Prior to that loss he was riding a 13-fight win streak – 12 of which came in championship bouts. Even today Johnson remains the record holder for most consecutive title defences in UFC history.
The impressive resume he boasts means moving back to North America to fight in the future isn’t really necessary. Johnson revealed his plans to retire with One Championship whilst speaking with MMA Junkie, he said.
“I will retire at ONE Championship. This is my last organization. I love this organization. I love everything they stand for, I love how they take care of the athletes, so this is my last (organization). This is it. Once I’m done, I’m retired. I’m like, ‘I’m done, peace,’ because there’s nothing else for me to prove for North America.”
“I’m trying to make something of myself over here in Asia. And if I’m able to get another piece of gold, fantastic. If not, I look to put on some great spectacular performances. Fighting in North America for pretty much the majority of my career and each time I travelled to Asia, they’re like, ‘Can you please come over here and fight for us?’ We want to see you fight live, we want to see you fight live.’ I’m like, ‘OK, maybe one day I will.’ Now I’m over here fighting live for them. So, I’m giving them what they wanted.”
Although he’s talking about retirement MMA fans can rest assured ‘Mighty Mouse’ isn’t going to be leaving the sport anytime soon.
“I give myself five more years,” Johnson said. “It all depends on the body, right? Like, I’m 32 years old (last year). I fought three times last year. I think I’ll probably fight twice this year. So as long as my body (is healthy), I’m having a fun with it, and I’m enjoying it, I’m just going to keep on going. But if I start, you know, getting knocked out, getting CTE and concussions and broken bones, I’m like, this isn’t worth it. I’ll focus on myself.
“I’m just being a realist. You know what I mean? I’m 33 years old. If I put five years at ONE, that’s what, I’m going to be 38 years old if my math is correct. Right, right, 38, 39. Then I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I’m done. I think I’m done.”
Do you think Demetrious Johnson has unfinished business in the UFC?