In their first meeting at ONE on TNT 1, Johnson was famously knocked out for the first time in his career by a perfectly placed knee from Moraes that connected with DJ’s chin. ‘Mighty Mouse’ got back into the win column in a critically acclaimed mixed-rules bout with Muay Thai icon Rodtang Jitmuangnon at the promotion’s 10th-anniversary event ONE X.
Riding the momentum of his win over Rodtang, Johnson has no intention of allowing a repeat of the first encounter’s shocking finish. Speaking to ONE Championship ahead of the highly anticipated rematch, the former UFC champion was asked if he had trained to take a different approach when the two clash on August 26.
“Just be more methodical, that's the biggest thing. And that’s the hardest thing.”
Demetrious Johnson elaborated on those comments, referencing a tape study that he has done of Adriano Moraes’ previous encounters:
“If you look back at his fights against Yuya Wakamatsu, Kairat Akhmetov, Geje Eustaquio, I mean all his fights that we watched, guys tried to be methodical, and the fight ends up being a little boring. It just does. That’s no offense to any of the fighters that don’t really go out there and try to win for the biscuit, right? It's almost kind of like, tit for tat.”
Demetrious Johnson wants to avoid a firefight like the one Rodtang drew him into at ONE X
When Demetrious Johnson met Muay Thai world champion Rodtang at ONE X, the game plan for both fighters was clear. Johnson’s goal was to survive the first round, which was contested under Muay Thai rules. For Rodtang, the goal was to take out ‘Mighty Mouse’ in the first round to avoid the second round being contested under MMA rules.
During the opening round, Johnson simply needed to survive but found himself drawn into a dangerous firefight with one of the world’s most elite strikers. Discussing the fight, Johnson said:
“So for me, you know, I can go out there and try to go tit for tat, try to win, you know, play it easy, but it's just not in my style. It's not how I train. That was kind of the game plan with Rodtang -- be methodical, try to draw out that right hand, and try never to exchange with him."
“To be honest with you, there was never once in the training room that was like, ‘Ok we’re going to f***ing exchange with Rodtang, and try to bust him up in the first round.’ That never happened in a training room. But in the fight, it just happened, you know what I mean.
While Johnson did not adhere to his own game plan in the Rodtang fight, he still emerged victorious, as many expected, once he made it to the MMA position of the contest.