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Former UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson 'may never fight again' because of COVID-19

Demetrious Johnson is one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time
Demetrious Johnson is one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time
Johny Payne
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 14 Nov 2020, 08:21 IST
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As reported by MMA Junkie, former UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has revealed that he may never fight again due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Johnson insinuated that with COVID-19 and potential future virus strains forcing the world into lockdowns, resulting in the cancelation of many public sporting events all over, he might decide to retire from MMA and focus more on his family.

Demetrious Johnson is on the cusp of winning the ONE Flyweight championship 

Known by his moniker ‘Mighty Mouse’, Demetrious Johnson is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters to have ever competed in the sport of MMA.

Johnson holds several notable UFC records, including the most number of title defenses at 11. The American Mixed Martial Arts stalwart parted ways with the UFC in the latter half of 2018 and made his promotional debut for ONE Championship in March of 2019.

Demetrious Johnson had previously competed in the Bantamweight (135 pounds) and Flyweight (125 pounds) divisions in the UFC, and is best known for his time as the kingpin of the company's Flyweight division.

However, after leaving UFC and joining the ONE Championships ranks, Demetrious Johnson moved from the 125-pound division to the 135-pound division.

One ought to note that the ONE Championship organization’s weight divisions differ from that of most Western MMA promotions such as the UFC, Bellator, etc.

Johnson has won all three fights that he has competed in under the ONE Championship banner, emerging as the winner of the ONE Flyweight championship grand-prix in his most recent fight that transpired in October of 2019.

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Mighty Mouse notes that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected his career

Demetrious Johnson was all set to fight for the ONE Flyweight title against the division’s current champion, Adriano Moraes. Their fight was supposed to take place in April of this year. However, the fight didn’t come to fruition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Akin to many other businesses and combat sports promotions the world over, ONE Championship too had to cancel or postpone several events owing to lockdown and travel restrictions brought about by the pandemic.

Johnson, who lives and trains primarily in the United States of America, has been unable to resume his MMA career in ONE Championship, as the company organizes most of its events in Asia.

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Shedding light upon his career amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, Demetrious Johnson stated –

“I hope we don’t see a COVID-22, knock on wood right now…You just never know. I mean, COVID-19, like I’m not going to lie – I was getting ready for this fight, I had my ticket booked to go out to Jakarta, and then this (explicit) just happened.”
“And then to sit on the sidelines for a full year, I’m going to have to start thinking about something else because it only takes one new virus to wipe out your entire career. I thought, ‘What if I never fight again? What if I never fight again because of COVID-19?'"
“I might never fight again, all that needs to happen is COVID 2022, and everything gets shut down, no live events.”

Furthermore, Demetrious Johnson explained that COVID-19 didn’t really hit him hard, adding that he didn’t really care about fighting during this time that he’s had to spend away from active MMA competition.

Johnson noted that he simply cared about being with his wife and children, and helping his children succeed in their schooling.

Moreover, Johnson highlighted that he has been staying healthy and prepared to fight when he does eventually receive the opportunity to compete in ONE Championship again.

Demetrious Johnson added, however, that when the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halted his fighting career, he switched into father-retirement mode since he has no idea when he’s going to be able to fight again.

Demetrious Johnson also noted that he’d like his fight against ONE Flyweight Champion Adriano Moraes to be rebooked for the first quarter of 2021, but is rather unsure about the rebooking.

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Published 14 Nov 2020, 08:21 IST
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