Regardless what happens at ONE Championship, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson will go down in MMA history. His 11 consecutive defenses set the bar really high for any fighter to reach. Additionally, Johnson embodies to perfection what a mixed martial artist should be, inside and outside the cage.
Johnson is that perfect mix of respect and sportsmanship outside the cage, plus an effective and versatile inside it. ‘Mighty Mouse’ dominated the 125-pound division for almost six years. However, to the eyes of the UFC he never came the star he should have been.
For whatever reason, despite his impressive record and performance, UFC never really respected Demetrious. Although it’s true the PPV sales are the most important aspect for the promotion, Johnson was never given the promotional push other fighters with less merits were.
Demetrious is an explosive, spectacular, and dangerous athlete in any aspect of the fighter. His only ‘flaw’ seems to be his size, as the flyweight division is not as attractive to the general public. For some reason Johnson’s incredible performances were never enough to make him more marketable.
We never saw him get caught in a rivalry on camera to promote a fight. Perhaps his bank account would be bigger if he had done that. However, in this day and age when all that seems to matter to make it is how much crap you can talk and how reckless you can behave, it’s refreshing to see a fighter stay true to his principles.
Johnson said he no longer felt comfortable being a part of the UFC as it degenerates. What once was a place where fighters from all over the world came to face the best, has gradually become a popularity contest based on insults, scandals and controversy outside the cage.
Now Johnson arrives to the best place for him. ONE Championship is the perfect example of how a promotion should treat its fighters. From weight-cutting protocol, to fair payments, but most of all, putting respect above everything else.
Thank you Demetrious Johnson for always respecting your values and personifying what a martial artist should be.