Demetrious Johnson says he tried to go “under the radar” when he signed up for the IBJJF Masters Worlds

Demetrious Johnson (left) and a photo of Johnson during training (right) | Image credit: ONE Championship
Demetrious Johnson (left) and a photo of Johnson during training (right) | Image credit: ONE Championship

Demetrious Johnson has displayed his high-level grappling skills in his MMA fights inside the circle, as he was able to secure two submission wins in his seven matches under the world’s largest martial arts organization.

Those submission victories came at the expense of Yuya Wakamatsu via a second-round Guillotine choke in 2019, followed by another second-round submission via rear-naked choke against Rodtang in their special mixed-rules super-fight at ONE X last year.

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Ever since his arrival at the promotion in 2018, Johnson’s adoration for "The Gentle Art" even grew further as ONE hosted different grappling submission bouts featuring Shinya Aoki, Gary Tonnon, Mikey Musumeci, and the Ruotolo brothers, Kade and Tye, among others.

This prompted ‘Mighty Mouse’ to look for an avenue to showcase his talents in this branch of combat sports, which is why he decided to join the IBJJF Masters Worlds in Las Vegas, which will happen from August 31 to September 2.

In his latest appearance on The MMA Hour, the 37-year-old said he tried to keep it lowkey when he signed up for the tournament. However, his popularity in the MMA scene still eclipsed his move:

“I tried to do it under the radar. I signed up, didn't tell anybody. There's only a couple of people who knew, my wife, Professor Yan. And Destiny goes like, 'Babe, what do you think is gonna happen?' She said, 'You're not just a normal athlete. You're not a normal athlete. You think people won't find out?'”

Although the reigning ONE flyweight world champion is currently focused on the tournament at hand, he has expressed his desire to challenge ONE flyweight submission grappling world champion Mikey Musumeci in a grappling-only bout.

‘Darth Rigatoni’ is coming off a successful world title defense against Jarred Brooks at ONE Fight Night 13 earlier this month.

Prime Video subscribers in North America can rewatch ONE Championship’s Amazon cards for free.

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Edited by Dave