He might be small in stature, but Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson stands tall among UFC champions.
Johnson is the UFC’s first and only flyweight titlist, having won the belt in September 2012 and defended it six times -- a stretch that includes three wins by submission and one by knockout.
In a career that began in 2007, Johnson is regarded as arguably the quickest and most technically skilled fighter in MMA, a big reason he’s ranked as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC.
Mighty Mouse has scored victories over some of the division’s toughest challengers, including Joseph Benavidez (twice), John Dodson and John Moraga. His submission win over Kyoji Horiguchi of Japan at UFC 186 came with one second left in the five-round bout, marking the latest finish in UFC history.
Johnson’s fast hands and footwork helped him rise up the UFC ranks after a successful stint in World Extreme Cagefighting as a bantamweight. He joined the UFC after it absorbed WEC and promptly won bouts against Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and Miguel Angel Torres in 2011.
Thoughts on opponent, John Dodson? He is a great opponent and a great athlete.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training to fight in October of 2005. I was watching the first season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and I liked how they were in shape. I always liked to be healthy, so the training regime intrigued me. Reese Andy was the one who influenced me to sign up with AMC and then it's just taken off from there.
What ranks and titles have you held? UFC flyweight champion. In my amateur circuit I held 4 different titles. Genesis MMA & Genesis Muay Thai, Rumble on the Ridge, Ax Fighting Championship
Do you have any heroes? Batman, because I grew up watching him and always wanted to be like him.
What is your favorite technique? My footwork.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means everything. I can’t wait to fight for the UFC and I can’t wait to show the UFC that I belong here.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Yes, I went to Pierce Community College and didn't finish my associates degree because I was at a turning point. It was either to stay in school and get my AA or continue training harder and try to make a career with fighting. I made the decision to pursue my dream as a fighter and here I am today.
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked in a warehouse in downtown Tacoma that's a recycling tube plant.