‘I’m Still Young’ – Demetrious Johnson Considers Next Move After World Title Win At ONE Fight Night 10
In the blockbuster main event of ONE Fight Night 10, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson produced a stellar performance to retain his ONE Flyweight World Championship and further cement himself as MMA’s undisputed GOAT.
The flyweight king largely controlled the action over the course of five high-paced rounds to defeat rival and former titleholder Adriano Moraes via unanimous decision at Colorado’s 1stBank Center this past Friday, May 5.
Besides solidifying his legacy, the win also sealed the dramatic rivalry with Moraes in Johnson’s favor, 2-1.
Throughout the battle, “Mighty Mouse” punished his foe with stinging knees to the body from the clinch position. And while he was happy that referee Herb Dean kept the action moving by frequently separating the fighters, Johnson believes he could have potentially finished the Brazilian if he was allowed more time to work in the clinch.
In the post-event press conference, he said:
“So, I’m happy with my performance. I beat him up a lot in the clinch, and I was hurting him a lot, and he did a good job of, like, holding. Herb Dean did a good job of breaking us up, but at the same time, I was [like], ‘Herb, like, I’m breaking the body up, give me my opportunity to get his hands down.’”
Johnson didn’t only attack the body from the clinch position. He also went for the knockout blow to Moraes’ head.
In fact, the American recalls one particular moment when he thought he had the challenger finished, thanks to a massive flying knee that narrowly missed the Brazilian’s chin:
“I tried to go airborne and hit him with the knee to the chin, and I was shocked. And I thought that I would knock him out. But when I watched the replay, I hit him in the throat. I was like, ‘Damn it.’”
Demetrious Johnson Undecided About Retirement Or Kairat Akhmetov Challenge Next
Now with Adriano Moraes and the first defense of his ONE Flyweight World Championship in the rearview mirror, Demetrious Johnson can now look ahead to what’s next.
The division’s most obvious next challenger is surging #2-ranked contender and former titleholder Kairat Akhmetov, who secured a dominant decision victory of his own earlier in the night.
When asked about “The Kazakh” during the post-event press conference, Johnson said:
“I think Kairat Akhmetov is on a six-fight winning streak. I love when people are on winning streaks because I love taking it away from them. Kairat’s an amazing athlete, very, very strong. I saw him and Reece McLaren in the [ONE Flyweight] World Grand Prix back in 2019, I believe. And he’s a good wrestler… I’m excited for a new challenge because he brings something different to the table.”
But even with a new challenger waiting in the wings, the 36-year-old American icon is still very much considering retirement.
After competing at the highest level of the sport for well over a decade, Johnson has secured his place among the best to ever don the 4-ounce gloves. However, “Mighty Mouse” wants to make sure he leaves MMA at the right time. To that end, he’ll be reaching out to other legendary figures as he mulls over his decision.
“We’ll see. I’m still young. [I’ll be] talking to my peers, talking to Urijah Faber. I’m going to reach out to [Georges St-Pierre], I’m going to reach out to Khabib Nurmagomedov. I’m going to talk to these guys. Like, ‘Why did you guys stop?’
“Those guys could’ve kept on fighting. And there comes a point in time [where you say], ‘I’m 36 years old, and do I just keep on doing this and give other athletes the opportunity to beat me and add to their legacy, or whatever?’ So, there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve got to muster up.”