ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is preparing for his clash with ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes – a fight that will headline “ONE on TNT I” on 7 April.
In the meantime, Johnson took some time away from training to pick the four martial artists he would put on his “Martial Arts Mount Rushmore.”
“I’m going to be completely transparent with my choices. People say, ‘Oh man, you deserve to be up there.’ I do not,” Johnson said.
“There are people who have done way more than I have in my career of mixed martial arts.”
Here are four of those people that Johnson considers the most legendary.
#1 Bruce Lee
When you think of martial arts, you think of Bruce Lee. The two go together like steak and potatoes.
Johnson admits that although he’s made MMA more accessible to the average person, Lee had a historic impact.
“I’ve inspired people to do mixed martial arts, but this gentleman right here, Bruce Lee, has inspired the world of martial arts,” Johnson said.
“He is a legend. He’s contributed way more to martial arts, in my opinion, and deserves to be on this mountain.”
#2 Jean-Claude Van Damme
Next on Johnson’s list is Jean-Clause Van Damme, the man who brought Asian striking arts to the Western world.
Van Damme has starred in dozens of martial arts movies, and he is most famous for his roles in “Bloodsport” and “Kickboxer,” where he played the iconic Frank Dux and Kurt Sloane, respectively.
“I think he’s contributed a lot to martial arts,” Johnson said.
#3 Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan can rival any of the best martial arts action movie stars in history.
In addition to winning dozens of awards for his iconic roles, Chan has played in cult classics like “Drunken Master,” “Hand of Death,” and “To Kill with Intrigue.”
“Phenomenal,” Johnson replied when asked to summarize Chan’s legacy. “He did all his own stunts – ‘Rumble in the Bronx,’ ‘Who Am I?.’ ‘Rush Hour.’
“The way he would move. He would use whatever he had accessible to him and use it in his choreography when he was fighting.”
#4 Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White is another action star who played roles in many martial arts classics, including Mike Tyson in “Tyson.”
White has also acted in dozens of television shows and has even appeared in video games and music videos.
“He played in ‘Spawn.’ He was also in ‘Black Dynamite.’ And for me, being African-American, there isn’t a lot of martial artists who display that on the big screen,” Johnson said.
“That’s big in my book, that he was a man of color who did martial arts on the big screen and lived a true martial arts lifestyle – and still does to this day.”
Before watching Johnson’s big return to action, download the ONE Super App to catch ONE: FISTS OF FURY on 26 February from Singapore, where reigning ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Ilias Ennahachi will defend his strap against #2-ranked contender “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9.
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