Behind The Scenes with Flyweight GOAT DJ Johnson for ONE X HYPERFLY

The upcoming ONE Championship x HYPERFLY collaboration is one of the most anticipated projects we at HYPERFLY have worked on to date. To be chosen by “the home of martial arts” for a gi and no-gi collaboration is a massive honor, and to say that we are extremely excited is an understatement.

To then have one of the greatest fighters of all time be the face of the campaign left us speechless.

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is a living legend. The first Flyweight champion in UFC history with a mind-blowing eleven title defenses and a list of records that will make your head spin. 

We had the opportunity to shoot the ONE campaign with Mighty in his home state of Washington, just outside of downtown Seattle. Working with the current ONE #1 ranked Flyweight was an incredible experience – he’s a true professional in every sense of the term. 

Join us behind the scenes with DJ and learn a bit about his motivations, aspirations, and keys to success.

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You’re known for being a complete fighter who is a master of many martial arts. How does it feel working with ONE who pays homage to all of the martial arts?

It’s an absolute honor to work with a company like ONE Championship who values the martial arts, and it’s not just based on mixed martial arts but all the art forms. 

When I had the opportunity to work with a company that covers Muay Thai, kickboxing, submission grappling, boxing, I was so grateful. It worked out perfectly. We share the same values and I couldn’t be happier.

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You’ve found success repeatedly at the highest level for a long time. What personal qualities do you credit that to?

I think when it comes to the personality traits that have made me successful, one is you gotta have heart. You can’t teach heart. I feel heart goes a long way. I’ve been down in some of my fights and found a way to push through. Also being a hard worker, being humble, and having humility are huge.

Also, I’ve always been naturally curious about finding out what works and what doesn’t. I always asked questions. Which I believe, has helped with my creativity inside the circle.

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ONE is known to have matches based on a specific martial art like submission grappling or Muay Thai. With your background in wrestling would you ever consider something like that or maybe ADCC?

I’ve thought about doing the ADCC Championship but I think as of right now with me being a full time mixed martial artist it’s not the smartest thing for me to do. My coach blew his knee out when he competed in it. When you enter that tournament those guys are nasty, that’s what they do for a living. They live for that tournament. 

For me, I would want to go in there and test myself against those guys but not at the risk of tearing my knee or something and not being able to come back and compete in mixed martial arts. So, it probably won’t happen but I’m a big fan of the tournament and the organization. 

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You’ve been at the top of the sport of MMA for years. How do you continue to stay motivated?

I think the biggest thing that keeps me motivated is that I view this as my job. I love it and it’s a passion of mine but for me this is how I pay my bills, this is how I provide for my family and secure a future for my family that I didn’t have. For me, that’s all the motivation that I need.

Obviously you do have that motivation to be the best in the world, but that can only take you so far. I’ve been there for six years straight. You have to have something else that will give you that drive. A lot of guys when they become champion ask, “what’s next?” 

I’m now in this position in my career where I still feel like I’m successful whether I win or lose because I’m going out there and doing something I love, but I also have that extra motivation, which is to provide for my family.

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You’re widely considered one of the greatest of all time. What do you personally want to be remembered for?

I think a lot of people view me as one of the greatest of all time, but really I just want to be remembered as one of the best to ever do it in my division. There are so many great athletes…GSP, Jon Jones, Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, the list just goes on and on. You look at what those guys have done in their career and they’re the best to ever do it. I just want to go down on that list. 

As a flyweight, yeah, I’m probably one of the greatest flyweights ever. But when people say “you’re the greatest of all time,” I just let the people in the community decide that. I don’t throw that title on my back. I just train hard and compete. If that’s what people want to give me…that title…I’ll take it. But I’m not going to go have it etched on my gravestone. (laughs)

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You got to check out some of the new ONE x HYPERFLY gear recently. What do you think of the collab?

The ONE x HYPERFLY collab gis are absolutely amazing! The quality is the best I’ve ever come across. I really like the graphics and I really like the lightweight gis. I’m really happy that I was chosen to launch this collab between HYPERFLY and ONE.

If you get a chance to snag any of the gear I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I’m looking forward to putting in some hours in this gear! Thank you to HYPERFLY and ONE for the opportunity to be a part of this collaboration!

Stay tuned for the ONE x HYPERFLY release including two different gis and three sets of no-gi rashguards and shorts!

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