Demetrious Johnson is aware that Rodtang will be using his’mindf ***” to stop him: “I’m stopping me natural ability.”


Demetrious Johnson knows he’s going to be putting himself at a disadvantage in his mixed rules fight on Saturday against Rodtang Jitmuangnon at ONE Championship: X.

Johnson will face the Muay Thai champion. The special attraction is scheduled for four rounds of three minutes. Rounds one through three are contested according to Muay Thai rules, while rounds two and four are contested in accordance with MMA rules. It’s going to be a wholly new experience for Johnson, and the former UFC flyweight champion didn’t beat around the bush when asked on The MMA Hour whether he expects the fight to be a “mind f***” once the action gets going.

“One thousand percent,” Johnson said recently on The MMA Hour. Because naturally, my entire career in mixed martial arts was a natural one. Like, when they first presented this, they were like, ‘Hey, do you want to fight Rodtang for the Muay Thai belt?’ I was, ‘Nah, I don’t care about being Mauy Thai champion.’ I’m like, ‘There’s people out there who dreamed their whole lives to be a Muay Thai champion.’ But I said, ‘I will fight Rodtang.’ I was like, ‘I’ll fight him in Muay Thai. We can do big gloves.’

“Just me personally, I like Muay Thai. When I watch Muay Thai when it’s in Thailand or Lion Fighting or K-1, they have the big gloves. You can see why they had big gloves. That’s what I was used to. Then I thought, “I’ll fight Rodtang Muay Thai big gloves.” We do three [three-minute rounds], call it good and move on to the next one.’ And they came back with this. It’s going to be different for me .”

Johnson, 35, said he’s had one amateur Muay Thai fight in his career. This was in 2007, well before his string of 11 consecutive UFC titles defenses. Johnson claimed that he suffered a broken rib during the fight.

But “Mighty Mouse” has never been one to shy away from a challenge. He acknowledged that he isn’t even quite sure how the bout is going to be scored — “I don’t really care about that,” Johnson said — but regardless of the hurdles he knows he’s going to face, he plans on giving Rodtang his best shot. Even if it’ll probably be a little awkward in the early going.

” “It seems like I’m stopping the natural ability of my body to move and be fluid,” Johnson stated. Johnson said, “Because it’s a mixed martial arts artist. “Because I am not a Muay Thai Fighter. How I fight, is that I use the rounds to build on each other. In the first round I use my footwork and my elevation change. Then, I start using my wrestling skills. This is one round. That’s five minutes. I feel the pressure building. Second round, same thing. Third round, same thing. Fourth round, same thing. Five round, if they haven’t succumbed or drowned within those first four rounds, in the fifth one I typically do [finish them].

“So, to see that in the first and third round I have to be in a handicapped state and not use my greatest asset, yeah, it’s kind of that mind fog. But at the end of the day, it is what it is, baby. It’s not a job we get to pick fights. Fighting is what we get paid. Remember .”

Saturday’s bout will mark Johnson’s return to action following a near year-long layoff. Johnson, the future Hall of Famer, has not competed since he lost via knockout in round two of his attempt to win the ONE Flyweight title against Adriano Morais.

It was Johnson’s first loss by knockout in his career, and also the first loss he suffered since the 2011 defeat at Dominick Cruz. However, Johnson doesn’t think that revenge will be an option. Moraes is currently slated to defend his belt on Saturday against the man Johnson submitted in his own ONE debut — Yuya Wakamatsu — and while Johnson would like to rematch the winner, it’s not going to make or break him if it doesn’t happen.

“Do I want to right that wrong? Absolutely,” Johnson said. “I want to work my way back up to it, right? I’ve got to get through Rodtang first. When I think about this fight, it is for me to compete in the fight without using my entire skill set. I can use it for six minutes essentially, which is not even two rounds in mixed martial arts. Let’s get on the mat and take out Rodtang. We’ll see how it goes.

“Then, after that, we’ll get back to mixed martial arts, we’ll see the next person who’s in line. Get back to doing what I do best, which is mixing up all of my skill set, which is mixed martial arts. And then work our way back to our title shot. If I’m given the title shot by Yuya Wakamatsu or Adriano, then we’ll give our best shot. And if it doesn’t work, it will be our loss. If we win, .”

is ours.

Johnson wants to get back on his feet after having been fighting since late 2019.. He’ll be able to make 2022 his best year if he can do that.

“I think if I can do three [fights], that’d be awesome. But two is in line, right?” Johnson said. Johnson said, “I find that I fight better when my activity is higher. When I fought in the world grand prix, three fights in the year was a lot — like, it was a lot — but it was it was worth it.

“So if I can get three in this year, awesome, but we’re shooting for two.”