Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson admits he’s always had a bit of difficulty with fighters like his next opponent, Adriano Moraes.
Johnson, widely regarded as the best fighter ever, is slated to challenge Moraes for the ONE Championship flyweight title on February 24.
Heading into the matchup with Moraes, who is not only a lethal Brazilian jiu jitsu blackbelt, but a massive fighter for the weight class, Johnson is well aware of the challenge at hand.
“He’s a great athlete,” Johnson told MMA Fighting of Moraes. “He’s been a great champion. He had those back-to-back fights with Geje Eustaquio and those are great fights to learn from. At the end of the day, we’re going to match up our skills and see how we stack up against him.”
Johnson even admits that he’s struggled against larger, rangier fighters like Moraes in the past.
“I’ve always had problems in my career facing longer, rangier opponents,” Johnson said. “Back at 135 in the UFC against Miguel Torres or Dominick Cruz and you look like a guy like Tim Elliott, who’s pretty long and wiry for 125.
“If you look back at my career, I’ve always had a little trouble with these longer guys. You’re just dealing with way more mass in competition. When you’re fighting guys who are just naturally a little bit bigger, they’re going to be bigger, taller, longer, it’s just another challenge to get through.”
If Johnson is able to topple this imminent challenge, and capture another major title, it will reaffirm his status as the greatest flyweight ever, and one of the best fighters of all time—regardless of weight.
Many fans will undoubtedly be tuning in to see of Johnson can achieve the feat, and he’s grateful for their support.
“Those are the true fans,” Johnson said. “They appreciate the work I’ve put in. They want to see how my career unfolds. They’re following my journey anywhere I go. My message to those guys, I’m going to go out there and try to win this belt for you and keep on displaying amazing [MMA] skills.”
Demetrious Johnson earned his ONE flyweight title shot by winning the promotion’s 2019 Flyweight World Grand Prix. He accomplished that by defeating Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada, and Danny Kingad.
Do you think Johnson can capture the ONE flyweight title by defeating Adriano Moraes this February?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM