Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson returns to action on Friday, 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. He competes in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinals at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES to face Japan’s Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada.
The winner will move on to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Finals at ONE: CENTURY in October.
Ever since Johnson joined the ONE Championship, every athlete on the flyweight roster has wanted to get in the Circle with him.
“I’ve achieved a lot of great things in my career, so every athlete I compete against is going to try to make a name off me,” said Johnson.
“That is totally fine. I’m at the point in my career where I’ve achieved [great things, but they] are in the past. Now I’m looking to build the legacy over here in Asia. It’s the second round of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix – there’s something to get excited about.”
Johnson always respected Asian athletes like Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu, but after his debut in Japan, he now has an idea of the world-class skill level of the ONE athletes possess.
“Wakamatsu was a game opponent, a very great striker with great movement,” said Johnson.
“I knew it was going to take a little bit for me to get my hands on him, [but] once the fight got going, I knew I was going to be able to impose my will in the grappling department. It was a great experience, and I look forward to my next one in Manila. Wada is a great opponent who has that Japanese samurai spirit.”
“Wada is a great athlete who comes from a great camp. I think we both match up pretty well. He’s well-rounded. I’m well-rounded. We can fight anywhere and at any date,” Johnson explained.
“Nowadays people always focus so much on watching video. I try not to focus on what my opponent is going to do. I focus on what I’m going to go out there and execute.
“At the end of the day, you watch a video, but what you see in a video is not what you get when you go into competition. I’m just looking to go out there, up my game, put my fighting style on him, and see what comes from it,” he added.
Johnson isn’t worried too much about the kind of athlete he faces in the ring. All that matters to him is earning their respect as he pursues the ONE Flyweight World Title. A victory in Manila brings him to the tournament finals, and a win there inevitably earns him a shot at the title.
“Here we go, it’s round two. If we get past Wada, then we get to the final round,” Johnson adds.
“I’m confident because I’m putting in the hours in training to make sure that I go out there and I can be the best athlete that I can be that night. It will come down to who is tougher, who wants it more, and who is in better condition.”