Demetrious Johnson: There Are Others Who Deserve Title Shot More Than Me
Number one ranked ONE flyweight Demetrious Johnson is in no rush to return to the ONE Circle, and says he is just focusing on family commitments for the time being.
Johnson last competed at ONE on TNT 1 in April, where he was knocked out in the second round by ONE flyweight champion, Adriano Moraes. While ‘Mighty Mouse’ wouldn’t mind an immediate rematch with the Brazilian, he previously said that he’s ready to work his way back to another title fight.
Family Over Fighting
With no fight booked however, Johnson is investing his time in his loved ones. Speaking to MMA Fighting, ‘DJ’ said that he wants to spend some more time with his family as he enters the final years of his fighting career.
“From 2012 all the way to 2018, it was me as the champion [in the UFC],” Johnson said. “I’ve been in the game a long time. I feel me spending time with my children outweighs anything I can achieve in mixed martial arts. I just love being a father, love being home with the kids. I still love competing but I know that window, my transition from being a competitor, the reality is it’s going to be coming to an end within the next couple of years.
“I think a lot of athletes have a hard time realising that, and for me, I’ve always been a person that takes my hat off. I have no fights scheduled so I’m not even thinking about fighting. I’m in the gym working out to stay healthy and stay fresh because it’s my lifestyle, but I’m not in the gym like ‘I can’t wait to fight again, I can’t wait to get a title shot.’ That’s not the type of person I am. I’m more focused on my children and what I’m going to do, plan their birthday parties, etc. To say that a couple more years [left] is pretty much spot on for me. Things could change.”
More Deserving Candidates
While he’d like to run it back with Moraes, Johnson said he’s in no rush to become a world champion again and feels that top contenders like Yuya Wakamatsu, who recently called out ‘Mikinho’, are more deserving of a title shot at present.
“At the end of the day, I feel there are other people who are more deserving,” Johnson said. “Just because I have a name, it doesn’t warrant me a title shot. I’ve always been that way even when I was a champion. There’s guys like Yuya Wakamatsu, who’s put together a three-fight win streak (he’s actually on a four fight win streak). So for me, I’m not even focused on who my next fight is [against]. I know it’s going to be in the fall or winter time. So for me, I’ll see what ONE Championship offers me and we’ll go from there. I mean I just got finished and I have no problem working my way back up.
“I’m not in a rush to become a world champion again. I’m just enjoying my time in mixed martial arts with the time I have left. We’ll see what happens. I’m not sitting here hoping or betting for one. I’m just chilling and seeing what comes my way.”
Here For A Good Time
Having held the UFC flyweight title for almost a decade, Johnson isn’t consumed by the idea of adding the ONE Championship belt to his trophy cabinet. The 34 year old American says that he is just trying to have some fun in the Singapore-based promotion.
“It does not consume me,” Johnson said. “I’ll never let something consume me and drive me insane. Because I feel like when people set goals — when I first jumped into mixed martial arts, my goal was never to be a world champion. It never was. Because when I jumped into mixed martial arts, there was no 125 [pound division]. There was no 135 [pound division]. The smallest weight class was 155 [pounds] and that got cut and then it went to 170 [pounds] and then 155 came back.
“For me, my goal wasn’t to be a champion. I was just so smart and so damn good that I got better than everybody and became a world champion and defended it 12 times. For me, I’m here to have a good time and relax. I’m sure there’s other guys out there who are striving and consumed about trying to become the best in the world and become a world champion. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. Now I’m just enjoying my life and taking it fight by fight.”
Not Obsessed With Fighting
Although he’s proud of his accomplishments in the sport, Johnson says he doesn’t spend time reminiscing over his past achievements.
“Here’s the thing, I’m not sitting around a campfire with my friends and family reminiscing about my career,” Johnson said. “I’m just not that type of person. What I’ve accomplished in the sport of mixed martial arts, that’s always going to be there. It was a great time what I did. I don’t want people to take this the wrong way but when you’ve done something since you’re 18 years old — I’m f***ing 34 now and I don’t want something to consume my life. I want to be the best version of myself. Whether that’s the pound-for-pound best in the world or being a world champion or that’s just being a great athlete and a great ambassador for the sport of mixed martial arts. I feel like some people put so much stress on themselves to be a world champion and guess what? It may never happen. For me, I’ve taken that mindset out of my mind.
“When I’m in the gym, I still train my ass off. I still learn new techniques and do everything but I’m not going to let it consume my life. Do you think my kids care if I’m the world champion? They don’t give a s***. There’s more important things going on in my life than fighting and that’s my family. I want to be with my family and let that consume my life.”
Who would you like to see Demetrious Johnson fight next?