Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is preparing for his 30th professional outing on May 5, where he will defend his ONE flyweight world championship title against former eight-time titleholder Adriano Moraes.
But as retirement looms, Johnson has already set his sights on a new challenge: earning his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ).
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Johnson shared his plan to pursue a black belt in BJJ after he retires from the sport. He believes that “life’s too short not to explore different avenues,” and BJJ is one of the things he wants to do.
“Life’s too short not to explore different avenues, and it’s something that I want to do,” Johnson said. “It’s something I want to do. And I don’t want to do a lot of things. But that’s something I was like, no, I want to do it. I really want to get my black belt. I’m a brown belt now.”
Currently a brown belt in BJJ, Johnson’s grappling skills have proven to be a formidable weapon throughout his career. He hopes that earning a black belt will further cement his legacy as one of the greatest flyweights in MMA history.
The upcoming card against Moraes is expected to be one of the biggest trilogy bouts in ONE Championship history. Moraes has already secured a spot as a legend in the sport, with 20 career wins and a 73% finish rate inside the Circle. If he can defeat Johnson for a second time, he will undoubtedly go down as the greatest flyweight of all time.
The card will be broadcast live and for free in U.S. primetime on May 5 for Amazon Prime Video subscribers in North America. Whether this will mark the end of Johnson’s career or not, one thing is certain: he has already set his sights on a new challenge once he hangs up his gloves for good.
John Davis is a dedicated practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, having first started training in the martial art in 2011. Despite facing significant knee issues that have sidelined him for a period, John remains passionate about the sport and continues to follow all the latest developments in the BJJ community.