Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is no longer undefeated in flyweight competition.
This past summer, former Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo defeated Johnson via split decision to become the second-ever UFC flyweight champion. Little did anyone know, that would be Johnson’s last fight in the UFC. Earlier this week it was reported that the first major trade between mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions had been agreed upon.
The UFC has sent Johnson to ONE Championship, receiving welterweight Ben Askren in return. Johnson had a very big case for an immediate rematch against Cejudo, however, things seemed like they were trending in the opposite direction. Almost immediately after his win, Cejudo was involved in talks of a superfight with bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
With that being said, Johnson saw the writing on the wall, and his management made efforts to ship him out of the UFC. Now, he resides with ONE Championship and will be one of the promotion’s biggest stars. Speaking on a conference call recently, Johnson discussed his departure from the UFC. In regards to a potential rematch with Cejudo, “Mighty Mouse” said there was simply “nothing there” for him (via MMA Fighting):
“I think for me going back and trying to regain my title there was nothing there for me, because if I look at it as the standpoint as a martial artist, it was something that I’ve already beaten Henry Cejudo and I truly felt that I’ve been beaten a lot worse,” Johnson said.
“When I fought Dominick Cruz (for the 135-pound title on Oct. 1, 2011), I felt like I truly was the smaller guy. I mean, he suplexed me three times for God’s sakes. So with that I thought if I went back and fought (Cejudo), who knows how the fight could have went? I could have won it the third time, or I could have lost again, and I took a step back and I was like, ‘Okay, what do I truly want? Like ask yourself that, DJ, what do you truly want?’
“And I was like, I wanted something different, I wanted to mix it up, I wanted to do something different – I want to be able to walk out to the cage and feel butterflies, or if it’s the ring, I want to face a different type of competition and I knew if I went back and I would have won that belt again, then I knew that I would be staying in the exact same organization, fighting the exact same athletes — which, they are phenomenal athletes — but I’ve beaten pretty much everybody on that roster so far and so I felt this was a perfect opportunity to me. I wasn’t held by being the champion anymore.”