Demetrious Johnson Anticipating Historic Bout At ONE: CENTURY

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Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson marches toward the ONE Flyweight World Title.

Next stop: Tokyo, Japan, where fellow finalist Danny “The King” Kingad lies in wait on the other side of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix final bracket.

At ONE: DAWN OF HEROES, the 32-year-old American extended his successful run in The Home of Martial Arts after picking up a unanimous decision win over Japanese rival Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada.

The promotion’s flyweight division boasts such a stacked roster, that even a champion of Johnson’s caliber faced a stern test against Wada.

After years of top-flight professional competition, “Mighty Mouse” has seen it all, and the Washington native is all but ready for quality opposition.

“I always knew the athletes in ONE Championship would be tough,” Johnson said following the match. “He was very tricky, very well experienced, and at the end of the day, these are always going to be tough fights.”

A three-round battle with his Japanese rival left the flyweight legend with fresh insight just two months before the historic ONE: CENTURY, which commemorates the promotion’s 100th live event.

“I always expect myself to get a finish, and I wasn’t able to, but I’m ok with it. I’m happy and healthy, and now I’m looking forward to competing in Tokyo,” Johnson said.

With his semifinal bout in the rear-view mirror, Johnson kept his eye on the other side of that night’s bracket. In that bout, Kingad finessed Australia’s Reece McLaren with some fine grappling to earn a split-decision win.

“I watched it live, and it was a great performance,” Johnson said. “Reece is a very tough competitor. It was a great grappling exchange and I’m looking forward to taking Kingad on in Japan.”

Johnson, an AMC Pankration product, will be taking some lessons from his match with Wada in the hopes that they will translate to a better prepared “Mighty Mouse” in Tokyo.

“If you look at my fight with Wada, when he got position on my back, he was not being very offensive because he knew if he did, then I would get out,” Johnson explained.

“Right when he started to be offensive at the end of the first round, that’s when I was able to reverse the situation, so his aggression can work against him.”

His recent two bouts have provided ample competition, and it could be a fitting prologue for what to expect from Johnson as he prepares for the tournament final in the Japanese capital.

At the very least, Johnson has his health and fitness in good condition before he locks in for final preparations as Tokyo beckons.

“Right now, my body is fine, it’s just bumps and bruises from fighting in general,” Johnson remarked. “I’m going to let that heal up and give my body two weeks of no activity – just a bit of light cardio – and then pick up from there.”

A long-awaited break seems well overdue for Johnson, who has chased championship titles in a career going on 12 years, but that will have to wait until after Tokyo.

“I’m just concentrating on what’s right in front of me,” Johnson said. “I’m pretty sure [Adriano Moraes] will be ready to get back in there soon, but after this fight, I’m going to step back and appreciate what I have just done – three fights since March at the age of 32 against top-level opponents – and winning the World Grand Prix.”

Want to catch the latest action from ONE Championship? Watch ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD on Friday, 16 August on Toggle at 8.30pm Singapore Standard Time.

At 10:00pm SGT, Channel 5 will cut into the live broadcast, just in time for the main and co-main events.

To see the prelims, download the ONE Super App and tune in 6:30pm SGT.