A series of impressive performances have landed the American and Filipino in the tournament’s crescendo at ONE: CENTURY PART I in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, 13 October.
Both men have shown the mettle and skill to overcome adversity in their successful quarterfinal and semifinal outings, but they will face their toughest test yet inside the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Here are the key elements to look out for as they pursue the brand new World Grand Prix strap at the biggest martial arts event in history.
#1 DJ’s Double-Leg
Johnson started his martial arts journey as a wrestler, and his explosive double-leg takedown is still a key part of his arsenal.
“Mighty Mouse’s” timing makes this technique so effective. He waits for his opponents to load up, and as they unleash their power shots, he drives forward to dump them to the canvas.
The 33-year-old’s shorter frame helps him get underneath oncoming strikes and straight into his opponent’s hips so they cannot sprawl. When he shoots, his success rate is incredible.
#2 Kingad’s Side Kick
This is the biggest bout of the “The King’s” career, but he must keep his composure and avoid the desire to charge out of the blocks at full speed as he has done in the past.
Planted power punches and flying body kicks may make for thrilling bouts against most flyweights, but they will invite the American’s takedowns.
However, his side kick to the lead leg is one of the weapons he can keep in his arsenal to keep Johnson at bay. These jarring shots could make him pause, and buy Kingad time and space to unload the heavier artillery.
#3 Escapes From Underneath
Like many of his Team Lakay training partners, Kingad has worked hard on his get-ups and scrambles, and they will be crucial in Tokyo.
The members of the Baguio outfit have honed in on the ability to get back up to their feet – no matter what position they are in – so they can unleash the striking game that is feared worldwide.
Kingad is particularly effective at this. Given an inch of space, he quickly works to his knees to transition to his explosive double-leg takedown, which helps to take him from a defensive position immediately into an offensive one.
#4 Submissions In The Scramble
The fly in the ointment for Kingad’s scrambling success is Johnson’s unrivaled ability to snatch up submissions in the transitions.
The Washington native earned his tag as the greatest flyweight mixed martial artist of all time not because he has the best skill-set in any single area, but because he is a master in every phase of the game.
Yuya Wakamatsu found this out to his detriment as he escaped one bad position, just to fall into a bout-ending guillotine. Whether he’s taking his adversary down, or they’re trying to work their way back up, “Mighty Mouse” can take them out.
- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.