Demetrious Johnson has been out of action ever since he scored a second-straight victory over former flyweight titleholder Adriano Moraes at ONE Fight Night 10 in May.
‘Mighty Mouse’ earned a decisive unanimous decision over Moraes, closing out their iconic trilogy with the ONE flyweight world championship firmly wrapped around his waist. Since then, fight fans have been chomping at the bit to find out what would be next for the pound-for-pound great.
During a recent interview with BJPenn.com, ONE CEO and founder Chatri Sityodtong revealed that the promotion has been in talks with Johnson, hoping to coax him back inside the Circle for a mixed-rules bout with reigning ONE flyweight submission grappling titleholder Mikey Musumeci.
“We have been trying to get DJ a mixed-rules fight between DJ and Mikey Musumeci the flyweight grappling world champion,” Sityodtong revealed. “I think that would be a spectacular fight, as well.”
“I think DJ is kind of more in cruise control after having won his last title fight and when he is ready he will let us know when he wants to fight. He says he doesn’t have the burning desire, but he hasn’t retired yet, so I think DJ has a few more fights left in him to further cement his legendary GOAT status” (h/t BJJ DOC).
Musumeci is a five-time IBJJF world champion and currently holds an undefeated record under the ONE banner with wins over reigning ONE strawweight champ Jarred Brooks and Japanese grappling legends Masakazu Imanari and Shinya Aoki.
Over the last year, ‘Darth Rigatoni’ has lobbied for a submission grappling showcase with Demetrious Johnson inside the Circle. He has also begun preparing for a move into MMA.
Sityodtong Hopes a ‘Crazy Mixed-Rules Fight’ will bring Demetrious Johnson back to ONE
Demetrious Johnson is considered to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the sport. Winning the UFC’s inaugural flyweight title in 2012, ‘Mighty Mouse’ defended the title an incredible 11 times, besting some of the division’s biggest names, including John Dodson, Kyoji Horiguchi, Joseph Benavidez, and Henry Cejudo.
In 2018, he moved to ONE Championship as part of a historic trade between the two organizations. Johnson immediately made his mark, winning the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Tournament before moving on to his title trilogy with Adriano Moraes.
Of course, you can’t mention DJ’s ONE career without bringing up his historic mixed-rules clash with Muay Thai sensation Rodtang Jitmuangnon. Stepping inside the Circle at the promotion’s 10th-anniversary showcase ONE X in March 2022, Johnson earned a second-round rear-naked choke submission against ‘The Iron Man’ after surviving a barrage of strikes in the opening round.
“He needs some big challenges, maybe some crazy mixed-rules fight,” Sityodtong continued. “He’s the only person in the history of martial arts to win belts in the two biggest and most prestigious organizations, UFC and ONE, and do so in such a legendary way.”
“If you look at his skillset, forget about titles, if you just look at his skillset, he has by far the most complete skillset of any martial artist in the history of mankind, you look at his striking, clinch gane, his wrestling, his transitions, his submission grappling game, he is completely well-rounded without any holds, and then you add in his cardio, for me, he’s the GOAT.”