After a lengthy and history-making stint in the UFC, former UFC flyweight champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson is headed to ONE Championship.
Johnson is expected to debut with the Singapore-based martial arts powerhouse in early 2019. Despite his massive accomplishments in the UFC, however, he does not expect an immediate title shot against ONE flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio. Instead, he’s expecting to fight another top ONE flyweight such as Kairat Akhmetov or Danny Kingad.
If he’s successful in this first fight in the ONE cage, Demetrious Johnson hopes to earn himself a flyweight title shot, win the belt, and defend it as many times as he can. Then, in five or six years — or whenever his body starts to give out in him — he’ll retire as a ONE fighter.
Demetrious Johnson broke down his goals for ONE Championship, and announced his plans to retire in the organization, in an interview with Ariel Helwani on Monday.
“Now as a ONE athlete, I get to work my way up to see if I can capture that belt and see if I can defend it,” he said (transcript via MMA Mania). “That’s the goal, to become a champion and defend it as many times as you can. So here we go. No immediate title shot, I have to work my way up.
“At the end of the day, I am a work horse, a working man, a martial artist,” he continued. “There are people who have been working on the same goal over there longer than I have. I’m a not going to go over and strut my stuff thinking I’m this… I am the new kid on the block and you have to work your way up.”
“All I can say is that I am retiring here, I am not going anywhere. I have put more than six years in North America and I think this is it. I am done over here. I am going to fight five or six years, or as long as my body will last, and then I will retire and move on to the next phase in my life. ONE is the last stop.”
What do you think Demetrious Johnson will accomplish as a member of the ONE Championship roster?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/30/2018.