Demetrious Johnson Reports Feeling “The Love More on This Side of The World”
By FCF Staff
As Demetrious Johnson prepares to fight for a second time under ONE Championship banner, the former UFC champ is reporting he’s feeling more “love” competing in Asia markets.
Although Johnson defended the UFC’s flyweight title a record 11 times, the renowned fighter never became a top, mainstream draw. Johnson moved to the Asia based, ONE Championship late last year, and in March, he defeated Yuya Wakamatsu in the opening round of the promotion’s flyweight grand prix.
In advance of his bout Friday with Tatsumitsu Wada, Johnson had this to say about how he’s being received overseas (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I think I feel the love more on this side of the world, you know what I mean?” Johnson said. “A lot of athletes are my size, a lot of countrymen here are my size. I think they can relate more to the flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight divisions than over in North America.
“One hundred percent there is more interest here when I fight. The fans are more excited when I fight over here, and I think ONE does a great job in promoting the flyweight division, as well as the bantam and featherweight division. Asia is the home of martial arts, you know? Back to the Shooto and Pancrase days in Asia, those promotions spotlight their lighter divisions.”
Johnson will face Wada at ONE’s “Dawn of Heroes” card, which is taking place in Manila.