Demetrious Johnson (fighter)

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Demetrious Johnson
Demetrious Johnson.png
Johnson in 2017
Born (1986-08-13) August 13, 1986 (age 32)
Madisonville, Kentucky, U.S.
Nickname(s) DJ
Mighty Mouse
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)[1]
Weight 125 lb (57 kg; 8 st 13 lb)
Division Flyweight (2012–present)
Bantamweight (2007–2012)
Reach 66 in (168 cm) [2]
Style Pankration, Freestyle Wrestling, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Catch Wrestling
Fighting out of Parkland, Washington, U.S.
Team AMC Pankration
Trainer Matt Hume
Brad Kertson
Years active 2007–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 31
Wins 27
By knockout 5
By submission 11
By decision 11
Losses 3
By decision 3
Draws 1
Amateur record
Total 3
Wins 2
By knockout 1
By submission 1
Losses 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Demetrious Khrisna Johnson[3] (born August 13, 1986) is an American mixed martial artist and former freestyle wrestler. He is currently signed to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in which he competes in the men's flyweight division. He is the inaugural and former UFC Flyweight Champion and currently holds the UFC record for most consecutive title defenses with 11.[4] Known for his quick striking and elusive movement, Johnson has also landed the most takedowns in UFC flyweight history and holds the record for the latest finish in UFC history with a submission win at 4:59 of the fifth round against Kyoji Horiguchi. He is also the only UFC fighter to record over 10 takedowns in three different fights.[5]

ESPN, MMA Weekly, and various UFC personnel have called Johnson one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the world.[6][7][8] As of September 11, 2018, he is #7 in official UFC pound-for-pound rankings.[9] Sherdog ranks Johnson as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts and as the #1 flyweight.[10][11] He is widely regarded to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.[12]

Early years[edit]

Born in Kentucky, Johnson grew up in Parkland, Washington where he attended Washington High School and was a stand-out athlete in track, wrestling, and cross country. In wrestling, he placed 3rd and 2nd in state in his junior and senior years. Although he participated in track and cross country to improve his cardio for wrestling, he competed at the State Championships in both sports as well.[13][14]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Johnson began his career in mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2007 and won his professional debut via first-round knockout. Johnson then appeared on multiple local shows and won his next 8 fights, including five in a row by submission. Johnson fought at the Alaska Fighting Championships in Anchorage and won via head kick KO, which earned him a deal with the WEC.[14]

World Extreme Cagefighting[edit]

He made his World Extreme Cagefighting debut at bantamweight against Brad Pickett on April 24, 2010, at WEC 48 in Sacramento, California.[15] Johnson showed good kickboxing throughout, but was unable to defend the many takedowns executed by Pickett. Johnson lost via unanimous decision. Joe Rogan predicted during the fight that, should the WEC implement a flyweight division, Johnson would be highly effective, as he was a relatively small bantamweight.

Johnson was expected to face Clint Godfrey on September 30, 2010, at WEC 51.[16] However, Godfrey was forced off the card and replaced by WEC newcomer Nick Pace.[17] Johnson defeated Pace via unanimous decision, handing Pace his first ever MMA loss.

Johnson defeated Damacio Page via third round submission on November 11, 2010, at WEC 52.[18] After Page controlled the action in the first round, Johnson was able to dictate the action for most of the second and third rounds before submitting the visibly tired Page via guillotine choke. Johnson later said, "He was basically drowning, and I was the shark that came up and got him from underneath."[19]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Bantamweight competition (2011–2012)[edit]

On October 28, 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC.[20] Johnson faced Japanese superstar Norifumi Yamamoto on February 5, 2011, at UFC 126 in his UFC debut,[21] Johnson utilized take downs in round 1 and 2, controlling Yamamoto throughout the fight, and being rewarded with a unanimous decision victory.

Johnson was scheduled to face Renan Barão on May 28, 2011, at UFC 130.[22] However, Johnson faced Miguel Torres after Torres' opponent, Brad Pickett was forced off the card with an injury.[23] Despite breaking his fibula early in the second round from a checked leg kick, Johnson used his superior wrestling to control Torres and won a 29-28 unanimous decision victory, even though he was swept into full mount a record breaking 6 times during the fight.[24]

Johnson fought Dominick Cruz on October 1, 2011, at UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson for the UFC bantamweight title, losing by unanimous decision.[25] Johnson was briefly linked to a bout with Eddie Wineland on January 28, 2012, at the UFC's second event on Fox.[26] However, Johnson was pulled from the bout to take part in a four-man flyweight tournament to determine the UFC's first UFC Flyweight Champion.

Johnson faced Ian McCall on March 3, 2012, in the first round of the Flyweight Tournament at UFC on FX 2. This fight was the first flyweight bout in UFC history.[27] The fight with McCall went all three rounds, was turned over to the judges' score cards and announced as a majority decision win for Johnson. Later, in the post fight press conference, UFC president Dana White announced that the athletic commission made a mistake when scoring the match and that officially the bout was ultimately scored a majority draw (28-28, 29-29, 29-28).[28][29] A rematch with McCall took place on June 8, 2012, at UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall. Johnson won the fight via unanimous decision to progress to the final round of the tournament.[30]

UFC Flyweight Champion (2012–2018)[edit]

Johnson faced Joseph Benavidez in the finals of the UFC Flyweight Tournament on September 22, 2012, at UFC 152. Johnson defeated Benavidez in a close and fast-paced fight via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) to become the inaugural UFC Flyweight Champion.[31]

Johnson fought John Dodson on January 26, 2013, at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson.[32] Dodson managed to match Johnson's speed and also dropped him twice with left hands, but as the fight went on the champion took control and almost finished Dodson in the last seconds of the fifth round. Johnson eventually won the fight via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)[33] in a bout that earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.[34][35]

Johnson was expected to face John Moraga on April 13, 2013, at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. However, Johnson was forced out of the bout with an injury and Moraga was pulled from the event as well.[36] The bout with Moraga eventually took place on July 27, 2013, at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga, where Johnson was looking to defend his title for a second time. Johnson dominated the fight for nearly all five rounds and despite being ahead on the scorecards, he continued to work for the finish and eventually won via an armbar submission late in the fifth round.[37] The win also earned Johnson his first Submission of the Night bonus award.[38]

A rematch with Joseph Benavidez was expected for November 30, 2013, at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale.[39] However, the bout was shifted to December 14, 2013, at UFC on Fox 9 after that event's headliner was postponed due to injury.[40] Johnson won the rematch in emphatic fashion via knockout in the first round, becoming the first and only person to stop Benavidez. The win also earned Johnson his first Knockout of the Night bonus award.[41] Johnson faced Ali Bagautinov on June 14, 2014, at UFC 174. He successfully defended his title for a fourth time, winning by unanimous decision.[42] Subsequent to his win, on July 10, the British Columbia Athletic Commission (BCAC) announced that Bagautinov tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) prior to the title fight. In response, the BCAC suspended Bagautinov from mixed martial arts competition for one year.[43]

A bout with Chris Cariaso was expected on August 30, 2014, at UFC 177. However, the bout was shifted to September 27, 2014, at UFC 178 after that event's headliner was cancelled due to injury.[44] Johnson won the fight via submission due to a kimura in the second round.[45] This marked Johnson's fifth title defense and the first time that a kimura was used to end a fight in a UFC championship title bout. Johnson faced Kyoji Horiguchi at UFC 186, winning the one-sided fight via an armbar submission at 4:59 of the fifth round, resulting in the latest finish in UFC history.[46] This win also secured Johnson a Performance of the Night bonus award.[47]

A rematch with John Dodson took place on September 5, 2015, at UFC 191. In a largely one-sided affair, Johnson won the fight via unanimous decision.[48] Johnson faced Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197.[49] He won the fight via TKO in the first round after dropping Cejudo with a variety of strikes.[50] The win earned Johnson his second Performance of the Night bonus.[51] Johnson next faced Tim Elliott on December 3, 2016, at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale.[52][53] Despite being a heavy favorite, Johnson was taken down for the first time in Flyweight and nearly submitted with a d'arce choke in the first round. He went on to win the remaining rounds, and defended the Championship via a decisive unanimous decision.[54]

Johnson faced Wilson Reis on April 15, 2017, at UFC on Fox 24. He won by armbar submission in the third round and subsequently received a Performance of the Night bonus.[55][56] With the win, Johnson tied Anderson Silva for most consecutive title defenses (ten) in UFC history. In July 2017, Johnson won an ESPY Award for Fighter of The Year.[57]

Johnson was briefly linked to an August 2017 fight with T.J. Dillashaw.[58] He was scheduled to face Ray Borg on September 9, 2017, at UFC 215.[59] In turn, the fight was canceled a day before the event, as Borg was forced to withdraw from the fight on Thursday evening due to illness. According to multiple sources, Borg has been battling an illness this week and was deemed unfit to fight by UFC doctors.[60] The bout was quickly rescheduled and took place at UFC 216.[61] Johnson won the fight via suplex-to-armbar in the fifth round.[62] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award[63] and set the 11th successful title defense record, surpassing former middleweight champion Anderson Silva's record of 10 in the UFC.[64] Johnson's win was called the best submission of the year from publications such as Sherdog, MMA, and The MAC Life[65].

Johnson faced Cejudo in a rematch at UFC 227 on August 4, 2018 for the UFC Flyweight Championship title.[66] After a record 11 consecutive successful title defenses, Johnson's championship reign came to an end via a split decision loss to Cejudo. [67] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[68] 13 of 25 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Cejudo, while 12 scored it for Johnson.[69]

Fighting style[edit]

UFC commentator Joe Rogan, UFC president Dana White,, and other media outlets have called Johnson the greatest mixed martial artist in the world. He is currently rated 1st in current pound-for-pound rankings by Lead Left Hook MMA due to a perceived lack of quality of opponents, as he lost decisions to Dominick Cruz and Henry Cejudo. [6][7][8]

Known as one of the fastest fighters in MMA.[70] Johnson's martial arts background is in Freestyle wrestling which he uses effectively to control where the fight takes place, landing numerous takedowns in a single match when necessary.[71] In addition to his wrestling base, Johnson is also recognized for quick striking and elusive movement.[7] He is noted for his ability to land fast punches and kicks to the head or body, then quickly escape an opponent's reach.[72] He is also known for his ability to counterstrike while standing within the pocket.[73] During upperbody clinches, Johnson has also utilized the Muay Thai plum while mixing in a series of elbows and knees.[74] To complement his Freestyle wrestling base Johnson is also schooled in Catch wrestling under his long-term coach Matt Hume[75][76], as evident by his Catch style direct suplex-to-armlock transition[77] against Ray Borg, and his Double wrist lock submission (aka Kimura) of Chris Cariaso.

Personal life[edit]

Johnson had a harsh childhood; he was raised by his deaf mother and an abusive stepfather. Johnson has never met his biological father, "I've never seen a picture of him, not a glimpse, nothing." The main thing that has helped him move on from his past is his wife, Destiny Johnson. He says "she is the best thing that has ever happened to me and without her, life would be incomplete." They were wed May 11, 2012, in Hawaii. They have two sons: Tyron born in 2013, and Maverick born April 15, 2015, and a daughter who was born in August 2018.[78][79] Johnson is an avid gamer and streams his gaming via with username mightygaming.[citation needed]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 27–3–1 Henry Cejudo Decision (split) UFC 227 August 4, 2018 5 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States Lost the UFC Flyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 27–2–1 Ray Borg Submission (armbar) UFC 216 October 7, 2017 5 3:15 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Broke the UFC record for most consecutive title defenses (11). Performance of the Night.
Win 26–2–1 Wilson Reis Submission (armbar) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis April 15, 2017 3 4:49 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 25–2–1 Tim Elliott Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale December 3, 2016 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 24–2–1 Henry Cejudo TKO (knees and punches) UFC 197 April 23, 2016 1 2:49 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 23–2–1 John Dodson Decision (unanimous) UFC 191 September 5, 2015 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 22–2–1 Kyoji Horiguchi Submission (armbar) UFC 186 April 25, 2015 5 4:59 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Performance of the Night. Latest finish in UFC history.
Win 21–2–1 Chris Cariaso Submission (kimura) UFC 178 September 27, 2014 2 2:29 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 20–2–1 Ali Bagautinov Decision (unanimous) UFC 174 June 14, 2014 5 5:00 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 19–2–1 Joseph Benavidez KO (punch) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 December 14, 2013 1 2:08 Sacramento, California, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Knockout of the Night.
Win 18–2–1 John Moraga Submission (armbar) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga July 27, 2013 5 3:43 Seattle, Washington, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Submission of the Night.
Win 17–2–1 John Dodson Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson January 26, 2013 5 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 16–2–1 Joseph Benavidez Decision (split) UFC 152 September 22, 2012 5 5:00 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Won the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship. UFC Flyweight Tournament Final
Win 15–2–1 Ian McCall Decision (unanimous) UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall June 8, 2012 3 5:00 Sunrise, Florida, United States UFC Flyweight Tournament Semifinal.
Draw 14–2–1 Ian McCall Draw (majority) UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann March 3, 2012 3 5:00 Sydney, Australia Flyweight debut. UFC Flyweight Tournament Semifinal. Fight of the Night.
Loss 14–2 Dominick Cruz Decision (unanimous) UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson October 1, 2011 5 5:00 Washington D.C., United States For the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Win 14–1 Miguel Torres Decision (unanimous) UFC 130 May 28, 2011 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 13–1 Norifumi Yamamoto Decision (unanimous) UFC 126 February 5, 2011 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–1 Damacio Page Submission (guillotine choke) WEC 52 November 11, 2010 3 2:27 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–1 Nick Pace Decision (unanimous) WEC 51 September 30, 2010 3 5:00 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Loss 10–1 Brad Pickett Decision (unanimous) WEC 48 April 24, 2010 3 5:00 Sacramento, California, United States
Win 10–0 Jesse Brock KO (head kick) AFC 68 February 10, 2010 1 1:06 Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Win 9–0 Marshall Carlyle TKO (punches) AFC 67 January 13, 2010 2 0:51 Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Win 8–0 Frankie Mendez Submission (rear-naked choke) KOTC: Thunderstruck August 15, 2009 1 4:38 Everett, Washington, United States
Win 7–0 Louis Contreras Submission (rear-naked choke) Genesis: Rise of Kings June 27, 2009 1 N/A Shoreline, Washington, United States
Win 6–0 Forrest Seabourn Submission (rear-naked choke) Genesis: Cold War December 6, 2008 1 N/A Bellevue, Washington, United States
Win 5–0 Jose Garza Submission (armbar) AX FC 22: Last Man Standing August 16, 2008 2 1:56 Lynnwood, Washington, United States
Win 4–0 Louis Contreras Submission (americana) USA MMA: Northwest Fighting Challenge 6 March 29, 2008 1 N/A Tumwater, Washington, United States
Win 3–0 Eric Alvarez Decision (unanimous) AX FC 20: March Madness March 8, 2008 5 5:00 Lynnwood, Washington, United States
Win 2–0 Jeff Bourgeois Decision (unanimous) AX FC 18: The Art of War September 22, 2007 3 5:00 Lynnwood, Washington, United States
Win 1–0 Brandon Fieds KO (punch) AX FC 16: Annihilation April 28, 2007 1 0:17 Everett, Washington, United States


See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Demetrious Johnson". UFC. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
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  5. ^ UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship (25 August 2015). "UFC 191: Johnson vs Dodson 2 - Extended Preview" – via YouTube. 
  6. ^ a b Okamoto, Brett (2015-09-07). "Demetrious Johnson shines at UFC 191". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  7. ^ a b c "Why Demetrious Johnson is the Pound-for-Pound King". 2015-09-04. Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  8. ^ a b Bohn, Mike (2015-09-06). "Dana White agrees with Rogan: Demetrious Johnson is 'pound-for-pound greatest'". Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  9. ^ "Fighter Rankings - UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  10. ^ "'s Pound-for-Pound Top 10". 
  11. ^ "Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Robert Rousseau. "Biography and Profile of Demetrious Johnson". 
  14. ^ a b Mike Renouard (April 14, 2010). "WEC Pre-fight Interview with Demetrious Johnson". 
  15. ^ "Brad Pickett vs. newcomer Demetrious Johnson official for WEC 48 prelims". Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  16. ^ "Clint Godfrey vs. Demetrious Johnson set for WEC 51 preliminary card". 2010-08-03. Archived from the original on 2010-08-06. 
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  18. ^ Staff (2010-10-26). "Demetrious Johnson vs. Damacio Page official for WEC 52, card set with 11 bouts". Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  19. ^ "Sherdog's Top 10: Giant Killers". Sherdog. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
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  21. ^ "Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto Signs With UFC; Debuts Against Demetrious Johnson In February". December 10, 2010. 
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  46. ^ Alex Schlinsky (2015-04-26). "UFC 186 results: Demetrious Johnson dominates, submits Kyoji Horiguchi in last second of title fight". Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
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  92. ^ "Bloody Elbow 2017 Year-End Awards - Results". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2018-01-17. 
  93. ^ "Bloody Elbow 2017 Year-End Awards - Results". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2018-01-17. 
  94. ^ "Demetrious". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-09-14.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
New title 1st UFC Flyweight Champion
September 22, 2012 – August 4, 2018
Succeeded by
Henry Cejudo