The signing of Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson to the ONE Championship roster in October was one of the most talked-about martial arts stories of 2018.
In a landmark year for the organization, the addition of the most dominant mixed martial arts world champion of all time to its ranks showed that even more great things are on the way.
Johnson — who defended his UFC Flyweight World Title an unrivaled 11 times — got his first taste of the promotion in person on his recent trip to Singapore for ONE: HEART OF THE LION, and the experience made “Mighty Mouse” even more motivated to make his debut in The Home Of Martial Arts.
"Mighty Mouse" Johnson & Eddie Alvarez are ready to BRING IT Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 9 November 2018
“The team was awesome with so much energy,” says the AMC Pankration athlete.
“The production of the show was so cool. I loved the old-school ring entrances with the fireworks and the whole nine yards, Nora the ring announcer is fantastic, and the fans were great!”
Johnson will make his debut in his new home as part of the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix, which will begin on 31 March in Tokyo, Japan at ONE: A NEW ERA.
His first assignment will be to get past Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu in the quarter-finals and set up a bout in the next round against one of the division’s other elite athletes.
With so many potentially exciting match-ups for the American in the bustling weight class, the eight-man tournament has piqued his interest.
“I’m excited for it – it’s going to be a fun time,” says the 32-year-old.
“I cannot wait to see how the brackets work out, and to just get going.
“I’m just hoping I can stay healthy, as I think that will be the most difficult part – competing so often – but I will fight as much as my body will let me.”
The top spot in the flyweight division has been hotly contested in recent times.
Current ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio sits at the top of the pile, and he will defend his World Title against former titleholder Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes in a rubber match in January.
Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov is also vying for another shot, and top contenders like Reece “Lightning” McLaren and Danny “The King” Kingad also have their eyes on the prize.
Johnson is keen to face any of the leading athletes, who each bring different problems to the cage for him to solve.
“This division is stacked, and the best thing is, they’ve all faced each other before, and had wins and losses,” he explains.
“On any given day, any of them can win the fight, and that’s another thing I love about ONE Championship.
“These guys aren’t afraid to put it on the line because the promotion and the fans don’t care if you lose – it’s not the end of your career. They respect that you come to compete.”
MASSIVE NEWS "Mighty Mouse" Johnson & Eddie Alvarez will headline ONE's flyweight & lightweight Grand Prix tournaments!
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, 7 November 2018
In America, despite being the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist on the planet, “Mighty Mouse” feels he did not always get the respect his talent and accomplishments deserved.
The ONE fans have already shown their appreciation for the Washington native and eagerly await his debut. Because of the love they have shown, he wants to bring his best to Asia to reward them.
“I’m just a humble, respectful guy who loves this sport and wants to go out there and do my best on event night, and that’s what I plan to do in ONE Championship,” he says.