Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson maintains he is as hungry as ever to cement his legacy as the greatest martial artist on the planet.
In an exclusive interview with ONE Championship, 12-time flyweight World Champion Johnson stressed that the fire burns deep inside as he makes an assault on another World Title.
The 32-year-old American will make his long-awaited debut for the largest global sports media property in Asia later this month.
Johnson will headline the highly-anticipated ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, battling Japan’s Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo on 31 March.
Fellow American Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez will also make his debut on a card that boasts four World Title bouts, with Filipino Eduard Folayang defending his lightweight strap against Japan’s Shinya Aoki, Myanmar’s Aung La N Sang putting his middleweight crown on the line against Japan’s Ken Hasegawa, Singapore’s Angela Lee battling China’s Xiong Jing Nan for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title, and finally Kevin Belingon facing Bibiano Fernandes in a trilogy match for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship.
But it is Johnson that will captivate the world when he stands toe-to-toe with local hope Yuya Wakamatsu in Tokyo. And the Kentucky native stressed he is as motivated as ever.
“Of course, (I’m) always hungry to prove myself and provide for my family that will never change … no matter the opponent or organization,” Johnson said of his desire to win.
He added that it would mean the world to him to become a two-promotion world champion, a feat few have ever achieved.
“It would make me the best flyweight in the world,” Johnson said.
“I dominated the North American MMA scene and to achieve that in Asia would cement it.”
Preparing for the best part of the last nine weeks, Johnson revealed he and his team would soon begin to plot the downfall of Wakamatsu.
“Right now, (I’m) focused on this camp, focused on staying healthy,” Johnson said.
“As the fight gets closer we will focus more on the opponent but camp has been good. Transitioning from a five-round fight to three rounds has been the bulk of focus.”
Dubbed the “Little Piranha”, knockout artist Wakamatsu (10-3) poses a legitimate threat to Johnson, and Johnson knows it.
“Yuya Wakamatsu is a great Japanese athlete who comes from a great school and I’m looking forward to facing him,” Johnson said.
“He’s got a lot of first-round finishes.”