Standing only 5 foot 3 inches
tall, "Mighty Mouse" had a very tall task at hand, when he
made his UFC debut against well-rounded Japanese superstar Kid Yamamoto.
As soon as the fight ended, and his hand was raised, Demetrious Johnson
had became a household name, and one of the top bantamweights in the
MMA SPORTS: Thanks for taking the time to do
this Demetrious... lets start out with the good ol' how did you get
started in MMA question?
Johnson: I got started after high school. I was at home chillin’, watching
TUF and I saw these guys were hitting pads and wrestling. So I was like,
I wanna try this. I started training at Vision Quest and went on from
MMA SPORTS: Is that how you hooked up with AMC?
Johnson: Yeah, I met Reese Andy at a gym in Auburn and he asked if I
knew how to punch or kick. I showed him a couple moves I had, and I
ended up training at AMC shortly after that.
MMA SPORTS: What do you remember about your MMA
Johnson: It was a lil’ nerve racking. It was in a ring, and I used a
lot of my wrestling in the fight. I stood with him a little, but if
I would get in trouble, I would just take him down. I loved it, I was
MMA SPORTS: And how did you end up in the WEC?
Johnson: Matt Hume, who is my coach/manager had some connections with
them. I fought a kid named Jesse Brock in Alaska and I knocked him out
with a headkick. Hume talked to Sean Shelby, and got me in.
MMA SPORTS: What were your thoughts on the Brad
Pickett fight? I thought it was a close, entertaining fight, but the
judges sided with Pickett in that one.
Johnson: I was upset afterwards, it was disappointing. My standup felt
pretty good, but you can’t always just swing for the KO. I got taken
down a bit, and that fight made me realize I need to use ALL of my skills
in a fight, and not just focus on one part of it.
MMA SPORTS: And what went through your head,
when you found out you made it to the UFC, after the merge?
Johnson: I was excited! Me and my fiancée were watching a UFC event
a while ago, and she asked if I was going to fight for the UFC and I
told her no, that they only have the bigger weight classes, so I wouldn’t
be able to, so it was cool to get that call when they told me I was
MMA SPORTS: For your promotional debut, they
put you up against Kid Yamamoto, who is really almost like a legend
in that weight class, especially overseas. What were your thoughts on
Johnson: The fight went great. I was very happy with it, except for
not finishing him. He did a very good job of hanging on, and kind of
rolling in a ball after the takedowns. I would get stuck in his half
guard, and look for subs, but he was doing very good at holding on and
not letting me get anything. We knew to watch out for his right hook,
and that he was going to be throwing it. He hits hard, so I had to be
careful, but I was happy to get the win.
MMA SPORTS: It was an impressive performance,
and I think a lot of people took notice, so any word on what’s next?
Or anyone you’d like to face?
Johnson: I dont know. I mean this division is sooo stacked! Who else
could I fight; it’s up to them though really. But there are some good
Mike: You have wins over Page, Pace and now Kid!
All 3 are very serious opponents, where do you think you sit in the
BW division and do you think you’re close to a title shot?
Johnson: I think the Kid fight moves me up a little more. A title shot?
That’s up to the UFC, I don’t know what they think, but I will fight
who they tell me to.
MMA SPORTS: And speaking of the title, what are
your thoughts on Dominick Cruz?
Johnson: I think he is a fantastic champ. He is tall, big, good wrestler,
good footwork, good hands, I know Urijah called him the "Decisionator",
but I think that’s ok. I mean he is fighting some tough guys, its not
like he is taking it to the scorecards against a bunch of Joe Schmoes,
right now, he is the guy to beat.
MMA SPORTS: How do you think the two of you matchup,
if a fight was to take place down the line?
Johnson: We matchup good. He would have a good height advantage on me,
but that’s the story of my life (laughs). We both move a lot, we have
similar footwork, but for now I am just going to keep training, and
the rest is up to the UFC.
MMA SPORTS: Ok time for a couple fun ones, before
we close up. If Joe Silva let you takeover as matchmaker for a day,
what is the one fight you would love to set up and watch as a fan?
Johnson: Oh man, how about like Belfort vs Okami. Or Belfort vs a lot
of guys really. He came in, beat Franklin and got a title shot; I wanna
see him fight some more guys in the MW division now. Either that, or
Shogun vs either Rashad or Rampage II.
MMA SPORTS: All good choices! Last one, if they
made a movie about your life, who should they get to play your character?
Johnson: Me! (laughs) I want to play my character, or else they may
get some strange black Australian guy with an accent, who is nothing
MMA SPORTS: (laughs) Alright man, sounds like
a plan then. Anything you wanna add before we finish this?
Johnson: Thanks to XBOX for giving MMA a chance and sponsoring me and
MMA in general, check out their pages on facebook and twitter. Thanks
to MMAScraps for all their support, everyone at AMC… Matt, Steve, everyone.
Thanks to everyone who reads this, thanks to my fiancee! And you for
doing the interview!