The legendary former pound-for-pound number one reflected on his time in the UFC while expressing how excited he is for the new challenges that await him in his new home.
The trade that saw Demetrious Johnson make the move over to ONE Championship in Asia is one that many are pointing to as a potentially game-changing breakdown of the barriers that exist between fight-promotions in the sport.
Of course, Ben Askren was the one who joined up with the UFC in Johnson’s place and despite some voicing their confusion at the deal, all parties do seem to be genuinely satisfied with how things played out.
Speaking on a conference call in the aftermath of the announcement (via MMAJunkie), Johnson made it clear that he has no regrets about his time in the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion.
“I leave the UFC with no regrets, on good terms. I believe I’ve accomplished everything I could there.
“Defended the belt 11 times. I won a fight every single way you could possibly think of – knockout, a submission that nobody’s ever seen before. I’ve done everything I can over there.”
We managed to see Demetrious’ talents in the finishing department to their fullest in the later days of his run, with his first-round TKO of current 125lb champ Henry Cejudo and, of course, his sublime armbar of Ray Borg being among the highlights.
Of course, with his split decision loss to Cejudo in his final UFC bout, his time as the flyweight champ came to an end but with that came the opportunity to start anew and seek fresh challenges.
As far as the prospect of fighting in ONE Championship is concerned, DJ is looking forward to testing himself against the talents to be found in the Asian promotion.
“I think me coming to ONE Championship, there’s a lot of new goals. A lot of fresh things. A lot of fresh matchups.”
“The guys in Asia, they’ve been doing it since they were 3, 4 years old. So they bring a different style of mixed martial arts to the table.
“Training with Bibiano [Fernandes], he says everybody over there is so much trickier. They’re sharper. So I’m looking forward to the challenge to see if I’m prepared for this.”
As well as this, DJ made it his reasons for being dissatisfied with the UFC clear earlier this week so all in all, it does appear as though Mighty Mouse is making the right move for himself.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena