Demetrious Johnson Denies Bending The Knee To ‘Triple C’

Demetrious Johnson Henry Cejudo
Image Credit: UFC Video

UFC two-division champ Henry Cejudo – or ‘Triple C,’ as he calls himself – is making waves in the MMA world with his cringe factor. And Demetrious Johnson seems to be a fan of that.

All-time great former UFC champ Johnson left the UFC late last year to compete in ONE Championship’s flyweight grand prix. He’s won his first two fights over Yuya Wakamatsu and Tatsumitsu Wada, the latter coming on August 2. As it turns out for now, Johnson lost his last UFC bout to Cejudo in a hard-fought split decision. ‘The Messenger’ then went on to become ‘Triple C’ by winning the vacant UFC bantamweight title over Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 and adding two UFC titles to his Olympic gold medal in wrestling.

Johnson’s High Praise For Cejudo

While some fighters would be jealous a rival took their title, ‘Mighty Mouse’ isn’t in that boat. He spoke up on today’s episode of “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” to give his take on Cejudo’s unique cringe-factor, which has even included him calling out women’s champ Valentina Shevchenko. Many may not, but Johnson actually likes what Cejudo is doing:

“I like it. I like it, man. You can’t hate on ‘Triple C,’ what ‘Triple C’s’ done, nobody in this sport of mixed martial arts has been able to do. So you have to give the man the respect that he needs. And you know, he’s doing what he’s doing.”

Bent The Knee?

That seems like incredibly high praise from a legend. Yet Johnson stopped short when asked about Cejudo’s claim that Johnson had ‘bent the knee’ in a “Game of Thrones” reference. That was something “Mighty Mouse” denied, but wasn’t overly concerned with it either way:

“I didn’t bend nothin’. At the end of the day, he’s gonna say these things. And that’s fine for him to say. Did he beat me? Yeah, he beat me. And I move on past it. I don’t dwell on the past, I keep moving, I keep on building my legacy, doing great things in my career. So if he wants to say I bent the knee, that’s fine, what do you want me to say to that? Okay…”

Trilogy Fight Talk

As for an oft-discussed trilogy match with Cejudo, Johnson isn’t in a hurry to get that loss back. He pointed to his 2016 demolishing of Cejudo before noting their second fight was decided by the thinnest of margins in a split decision. ‘Mighty Mouse’ is more focused on improving himself and moving forward in his career than getting back any of the defeats he’s suffered in the past:

“If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. That’s the thing, a lot of people ask me about Kyoji Horiguchi, the Dominick Cruz, hell, even the Brad Pickett. A loss is a loss. That last fight, I’ve been beaten a lot worse. If you look at my first fight against him where I blew the brakes off him absolutely, then you look at the last fight we had, it was margins, margins from that loss. I’m like, not worried about losses. Losses, you learn from ’em and you keep it moving, and that’s what I’m doing.”

Will ‘Mighty Mouse’ and ‘Triple C’ ever face one another in the cage again?