Demetrious Johnson Reveals His Retirement Timeline
Demetrious Johnson is set to challenge Adriano Moraes for the ONE flyweight title in the ONE on TNT 1 main event on April 7/8th.
Johnson spent the majority of his career fighting in the UFC, where he became the inaugural flyweight champion in 2012, before piling up eleven successful title defences. The 34 year old, who is the consensus flyweight GOAT, will be competing in his 35th professional bout in Singapore.
Ahead of his fourth fight inside the ONE Circle, Johnson realises that his time in the sport is coming to an end. Speaking to Fightful, ‘Mighty Mouse’ said that he sees himself fighting for another four years, preferably in ONE Championship.
“I think that’s the most important part, having an end in sight,” Johnson said. “You see some of these athletes just fight forever and ever and ever. For me, I’m 34-years-old. I would love to be finished fighting within four years [at] 38-years-old. I don’t foresee myself jumping back over to a North American promotion. I can’t predict the future, but as of now, I’m very happy with ONE Championship. I’m very happy where I’m competing at and I look forward to the future.
“Three or four years. I don’t want to be fighting until I’m 39 or 40. I’ve been fighting since I was 18. I feel like 18 to 38 that’s 20 years in the game. That’s 20 years of competing and being an athlete… As you get older, there is no point in taking shots to the face and getting concussions. The potential of getting knocked out, all that stuff. There is no point in risking that anymore.”
‘DJ’ hasn’t competed since beating Danny Kingad in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix final at ONE: Century 17 months ago, primarily due to COVID. Johnson thinks that the lay-off came as a blessing in disguise as it has given his body time to recover from years of fighting, and he’s now ready to add another belt to his decorated resume.
“We took advantage of letting the body chill and relax and not worry about fighting. We put fighting on the back burner because it just wasn’t possible to make the fight happen,” Johnson said. “I’m not scared to work for my title shot. I don’t want to go in there and be given anything. I want to work for it. I love how I went about doing it with the Flyweight World Grand Prix and getting a sweet belt afterwards. Now I get the opportunity to get the divisional belt.”
Do you think Demetrious Johnson beats Adriano Moraes to win the ONE flyweight title at ONE on TNT 1?