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Mixed Martial Arts

Finishing Rodtang the furthest thing from Demetrious’ mind


Even against one of the world’s most fearsome strikers, Demetrious Johnson has no plan to alter his time-tested approach.

So once “Mighty Mouse” clashes with Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a Muay Thai-MMA super-bout at ONE X this Saturday, 26 March, don’t expect him to do anything drastic in hopes of surprising the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion.

“A lot of people, when you look at Rodtang’s fight, when he fought Mini T [Danial Williams], when he fought Walter Goncalves, when he fought Jonathan Haggerty… Those guys don’t have that concept of pressure. They didn’t meet Rodtang with the forward pressure,” Johnson explained.

The Thai superstar known as “The Iron Man” beat both Williams and Goncalves via decision. Then he knocked out Haggerty in their second World Title showdown.

“They use a lot of angles, movements. It just so happens that my movement also [uses] angles and uses footwork, right? A lot of people get this stereotype that [in] Muay Thai, you have to move forward,” Johnson added.

“So if you look at all my fights, I’ve always used angles and footwork in all my combat and in all my fights. So why would I change?”

Patience will be of utmost importance for the 12-time mixed martial arts world champion, especially since this match at Singapore Indoor Stadium will be starting in Rodtang’s domain – three minutes of pure Muay Thai.

Johnson is under no illusion that he’ll be pulling off the surprise of the year by finishing the red-hot Thai on the feet.

Not only that, even if he makes it past the first stanza, the American grappler isn’t expecting a quick finish in round two, where the bout becomes an MMA affair.

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“This training camp has been like a mixed martial arts fight. So for me, I don’t have that mindset [of ending the night early]. I’ve never had that mindset in any of my fights – even in my amateur career – that it’s going to be a quick night,” the 35-year-old stated.

“If we get them out at the third or fourth [round], so be it. But for me, I always plan for a long night.”

Not one to make predictions, Johnson can only say that he’s excited for the matchup with Rodtang. As someone who’s virtually done it all in his sport, “Mighty Mouse” is looking forward to another opportunity to challenge himself.

“For me, this would be one of the achievements that I’ve done [something] out of the box, you know, [in] my whole mixed martial arts career. You look at Cro Cop versus Wanderlei Silva, Shinya Aoki [and his grappling bouts]. This sort of stacked up as something that I’ve never done before in my career,” he said.

“A lot of my friends are excited about the fight. A lot of fans are out there excited about this fight. I have my WEC, my UFC, then I have my ONE Championship [run]. And this just goes to one of those categories that you know, hey, you know… I did a special rules fight.”

See the full card for the historic ONE X here and watch it live on the following channels: bit.ly/WatchONE |ONE Super App | ONE YouTube   


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