Demetrious Johnson doesn’t plan on ever leaving ONE Championship.
The former UFC flyweight champion was traded to the Singapore-based promotion for Ben Askren back in 2018. Since then, he won the flyweight Grand Prix and is set to fight for the flyweight title later this year.
Although many fans want to see him back in North America he has made it clear he doesn’t plan on leaving ONE Championship.
“I will retire at ONE Championship. This is my last organization,” Johnson told MMA Junkie. “I love this organization. I love everything they stand for, I love how they take care of the athletes, so this is my last (organization). This is it. Once I’m done, I’m retired. I’m like, ‘I’m done, peace,’ because there’s nothing else for me to prove for North America. There truly isn’t. …
“I’m trying to make something of myself over here in Asia. And if I’m able to get another piece of gold, fantastic. If not, I look to put on some great spectacular performances. Fighting in North America for pretty much the majority of my career and each time I traveled to Asia, they’re like, ‘Can you please come over here and fight for us?’ We want to see you fight live, we want to see you fight live.’ I’m like, ‘OK, maybe one day I will.’ Now I’m over here fighting live for them. So I’m giving them what they wanted.”
The goal right now for Demetrious Johnson is to win the flyweight belt next. After that, he plans on defending it for as long as possible. He also says he will retire in five years.
“I give myself five more years,” Johnson said. “It all depends on the body, right? Like, I’m 32 years old (last year). I fought three times last year. I think I’ll probably fight twice this year. So as long as my body (is healthy), I’m having a fun with it, and I’m enjoying it, I’m just going to keep on going. But if I start, you know, getting knocked out, getting CTE and concussions and broken bones, I’m like, this isn’t worth it. I’ll focus on myself.
“I’m just being a realist. You know what I mean? I’m 33 years old. If I put five years at ONE, that’s what, I’m going to be 38 years old if my math is correct. Right, right, 38, 39. Then I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I’m done. I think I’m done.”