MMA great Demetrious Johnson emphatically answered questions about whose style would prevail when he submitted Muay Thai megastar Rodtang Jitmuangnon in their mixed-rules clash at ONE X on Saturday.
That high-profile victory opened up lots of potential avenues for “Mighty Mouse” moving forward – within mixed martial arts, the all-striking ONE Super Series, or even another hybrid matchup.
With that in mind, here are three fights that could be next for DJ as he continues adding to his legendary combat sports career.
#1 Adriano Moraes
Though he hasn’t fought in MMA since losing to the Brazilian last year, DJ’s status as the most dominant Flyweight World Champion of all time means another crack at the gold would certainly be justified.
Moraes has said it would be an honor to face the American for a second time, and the chance for “Mighty Mouse” to avenge the only knockout loss of his career offers up an intriguing storyline.
#2 Kairat Akhmetov
Johnson has suggested that he might need to build back toward another shot at Moraes. If that’s the case, his next fight could come against former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov.
Akhmetov is the #3-ranked contender at flyweight and has amassed an impressive four-bout winning streak over some of the division’s top names.
In terms of style, his strong wrestling base could present problems that “Mighty Mouse” hasn’t faced in ONE so far.
“The Kazakh” has also stated it’s one of his biggest dreams to take on Johnson – the most iconic flyweight in history – and he might just get that chance with a World Title challenge on the line.
#3 Jonathan Haggerty
Outside of the top flyweight MMA contenders, Johnson could decide to accept a battle against former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan Haggerty.
The British striker fell to Rodtang in a pair of World Title fights, but he believes he’d fare better against DJ given his years of experience training in mixed martial arts.
He’s also been vocal about his desire to square off against “Mighty Mouse” and called on ONE Championship to “get this show on the road” earlier this week.
“The General” said:
“I think I would be a tougher fight for Demetrious Johnson [than Rodtang was], in all God’s honest truth. I’m just more athletic, so we’ll see what happens.”
Haggerty is eying a switch to compete in the all-encompassing sport, although a matchup with Johnson could be another special rules super-fight given their respective skill sets and the excitement over the format at ONE X.