MMA legend Demetrious Johnson has just signed up to compete in the IBJJF Master World Championship between August 31st to September 2nd, 2023. Although he’s spent almost two decades focusing exclusively on his MMA career, Johnson is known for his fantastic grappling ability and would likely do very well in a BJJ match. He’ll have to do well in more than just one match if he hopes to win his division at the IBJJF Master World Championship though, as there are currently over 30 grapplers competing alongside Demetrious Johson. He has entered the brown belt Master 2 featherweight division and although he’s an incredible athlete, it’ll still be a challenge to win so many matches at the event.
Johnson started out his MMA career as a top bantamweight prospect, going 9-0 at the amateur level and putting together a 5-1 professional record before being called up to the UFC. He won his first two fights there and earned a shot at the reigning UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and although he wasn’t successful, his drop to flyweight paid off in a huge way. Johnson went on to become the inaugural UFC flyweight world champion and set a new record for successful title-defenses in the promotion, going undefeated for almost 7 years in the process.
He left the UFC after losing his title to Henry Cejudo, making his ONE Championship debut with a 20-3-1 professional record. He’s since added the ONE flyweight world title to his collection and improved his record to 25-4-1, only adding to his legacy as one of the greatest MMA fighters in the history of the sport. Demetrious Johnson has shown incredible grappling throughout his career and will likely be one of the most technically proficient competitors at any level at the IBJJF Master World Championship 2023. The difference in ruleset will obviously have an effect on what he does of course, but he’s had plenty of time training with elite grapplers over the years.
It’ll be interesting to see how Johnson is able to adapt to the new ruleset and if he can maintain the level of dominance he’s displayed in his MMA career. This event will also serve as a good indicator of how well-prepared Johnson is for another grappling match that’s been floated around in recent months. He’s been going back and forth with BJJ legend Mikey Musumeci and a match between the two of them would serve as a fantastic champion v champion title-fight for ONE Championship to promote. As a nice bonus for him, winning this tournament could serve as the ideal moment for him to be promoted to black belt in the sport.