Discover why Demetrious Johnson, the ONE flyweight world champion, refuses to give up his MMA arsenal for boxing gloves. Read about his impressive boxing skills and his recent victories.
Demetrious Johnson, the ONE flyweight world champion, is known for his calculated approach to mixed martial arts. In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Johnson expressed his love for the full range of fighting techniques available in MMA and his reluctance to give them up for the limited options in boxing.
Johnson was disappointed when he saw former UFC middleweight world champion Luke Rockhold abandon his kicks and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in favor of boxing gloves in his fight against Mike Perry in BKFC. Johnson believes that trading away such valuable weapons is a mistake.
"Nah, I like having all my tools," Johnson said. "Like I feel that’s one piece of the game. Like I love the kicks, I love to knee, I love to wrestle, in the clinch. So for me, when I saw Luke Rockhold’s fight with Mike Perry, I was like ‘You just traded your best fucking weapon.’ That beautiful question mark kick you got, that jiu-jitsu you got, you just traded that all for your hands. You’re fucking crazy."
While Johnson has no plans to enter the world of boxing, he has proven himself to be a formidable striker in MMA. His boxing skills were showcased in his rematch against Adriano Moraes for the ONE flyweight world title at ONE on Prime Video 1 in August 2022.
Moraes, who stands at 5-foot-8, has a significant height and reach advantage over Johnson. In the first two rounds, Moraes used his reach to connect from a distance and appeared to have the upper hand. However, Johnson turned the tide in the third round by utilizing his boxing skills to close the distance and unleash his offense on Moraes.
The fight ultimately ended in the fourth round when Johnson landed a spectacular flying knee, securing a knockout victory and capturing the ONE flyweight world title.
Johnson and Moraes faced off once again at ONE Fight Night 10, where Johnson solidified his dominance with a unanimous decision win in May in Denver.
Watch Demetrious Johnson’s full interview below: