Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson is one of the greatest MMA fighters in the history of the sport and he’s managed to achieve everything he has without ever being given a BJJ black belt. Johnson was once the UFC flyweight world champion and he set the promotion’s record for most title-defences with an astounding 11 victories as the defending champion. He actually started out his career competing at bantamweight, largely because the flyweight division was virtually non-existent back in 2009.
Despite being clearly undersized in the bantamweight division, Johnson still put in some fantastic work there and went 5-1 fighting for promotions like WEC before being called up to the UFC. Johnson won two fights and challenged Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight title, although he wasn’t able to take it from him and lost by unanimous decision. That was when a change in the UFC weightclasses gave Johnson a huge opportunity. The promotion created a flyweight division and invited him to compete in a four-man tournament to be crowned the inaugural champion.
Johnson had to fight three times due to his first fight with Ian McCall being a draw, but he ended up winning the tournament and was crowned the champion. From that point on Demetrious Johnson was virtually unstoppable and he displayed what became known as the most well-rounded skillset in the sport to dominate everyone from elite strikers to BJJ black belts. After losing his title to Henry Cejudo, he decided to part ways with the UFC and attempt to add another title to his collection at ONE Championship. He quickly returned to his winning ways by emerging victorious in a eight-man flyweight grand prix to earn the right to challenge Adriano Moraes for the title.
Since then he’s gone 1-1 with Moraes, with both men becoming the first person to finish the other one. Now they’re getting ready to settle the rivalry between them with a third fight, and it may well be one of the last of Johnson’s career at the age of 36. He’s shown some interest in taking on new challenges once again though and has publicly accepted Mikey Musumeci’s challenge for a potential grappling match in the future. It seems like grappling is still something that Demetrious Johnson loves outside of competition too, as he recently sat down with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to discuss his trilogy fight with Moraes and the conversation turned to his desire for a BJJ black belt:
“Life’s too short not to explore different avenues, and it’s something that I want to do. 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.”
The full episode of The MMA Hour where Demetrious Johnson announces his desire to get his BJJ black belt was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of MMA Fighting: