Johnson Shifts Focus To Champion Moraes After Grand Prix Triumph
Demetrious Johnson successfully captured the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Title last weekend at ONE: Century, after beating Danny Kingad in Tokyo, Japan, via unanimous decision.
Johnson will take the rest of the year off now, having competed against three tough opponents in the past seven months.
“Three fights in one year, I haven’t done that since 2013, so I’m feeling tired, and I’m ready to go home and rest, I had three great opponents – Danny Kingad, Yuya Wakamatsu, and Tatsumitsu Wada – they’re all great guys, and I’m happy to come away with the victory [tonight],” Johnson told the ONE: Century Part 1 post event press conference.
The former UFC flyweight champion had nothing but praise for the Filipino and Team Lakay slugger, who credited his defensive skills on the ground in their bout.
“Yeah, it was good, Danny Kingad and the Team Lakay guys are very good at exploding – getting you where you think you’ve solidified a submission or a position, then they just explode.
“If you look back at his fights with Reece McLaren and Senzo Ikeda, they would have mount, and then lose that position, so I was focused on getting the finish with the kimura, but trying to hold position when I would get in a certain position,” revealed Johnson.
“When we were grappling, I would go for the kimura, and he would get out,“ Johnson added.
“When he went to the kimura on me, that’s fine because I will armbar you – that’s the reversal. But when I went for the armbar the first time, he got out. When I went for the guillotine, he got out. He was just like a fish!”
Apart from the three bout win streak that he is enjoying, Demetrious is also savouring every moment that he has with Asia’s leading martial arts promotion.
“Growing up as a fan of mixed martial arts, the first DVD I bought was the PRIDE Openweight Grand Prix when Cro Cop fought Josh Barnett, I thought I’d never have the chance to fight in one of those because I’m too small, so I’m grateful and honoured.”
The Grand Prix victory was his automatic shot at the current ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes and ‘DJ’ now has his eyes on the ultimate prize.
“Obviously what’s next is taking on the champ, Adriano Moraes – tough guy, very big flyweight, great grappler – so I’ve got to go home, see where his weaknesses are at, [then] go out there and give it all I’ve got.”
“Now we’re going back to five-round fights where I think I do a lot better, I have a lot more time to get adjusted and exploit my opponent,” added Johnson.
However, the former twelve-time world champion will now take a rest and recover his body to assure that he will be in one hundred percent healthy when he faces the Brazilian champion next year.
“I think I’m going to take some time off, and if I can pick and choose, I want to fight in maybe February or March, I’ll give my body a chance to relax, get my health where it needs to be, and then start training.”