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Being called out by UFC fighters only increases his brand value, claims Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious Johnson
Demetrious Johnson
Anurag Mitra
Modified 06 Aug 2020, 00:18 IST

It's been three years now since the former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson joined the Asia based MMA promotion, ONE Championship roster, but to date, "Mighty Mouse" is still called out by UFC fighters.

Most recently, it was Deiveson Figueiredo, the newly crowned UFC flyweight champion who called out Demetrious Johnson post the former's win against Joseph Benavidez in a fight for the vacant flyweight title.

“That’s definitely a fight that all the fans would want to see—me against Demetrious Johnson,” Figueiredo said post-fight. “But if the UFC wants to bring him back, I’m going to be very happy. I’m going to knock him out and with a lot of pride, and I’m very happy to do that.”

Demetrious Johnson, who was the undisputed king of the UFC flyweight division for many years, isn’t concerned by these callouts, and claims that they only help to build his brand.

“I don’t think anything of it,” Johnson told SCMP MMA this week. “If they want to mention my name, they can mention my name. That’s how I think of it. I think of it as them building my brand. I’m not even in the company any more and I still get brought up all the time, which is awesome. That just speaks to what I have been able to do in my career in mixed martial arts.”

Another fight that fight fans have always craved to see is a tie breaking trilogy fight between "Triple C" Henry Cejudo and Demetrious Johnson. Johnson believes that his former rival Cejudo would perform equally well in ONE Championship, but warned that some of Cejudo’s "recreational" activities that are allowed in the UFC but might not go down well at the Asian promotion.

“I don’t know how ‘The King of Cringe’ [Cejudo] would do [in ONE],” Johnson said. “He does say a lot of things to build his brand. I’m assuming he would fit well, he’s a gold medallist. Other than that there is not much I can say. There are things, recreational drugs he does that is not allowed in Japan and Singapore,” Johnson added, referencing Cejudo’s use of recreational cannabis. “In America, you can smoke pot and be upfront about it but I don’t know what ONE Championship wants. At the end of the day, it’s up to them if they want him to come over.”
Published 05 Aug 2020, 23:59 IST
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