Demetrious Johnson is set to make his return under the ONE Championship banner, against Muay Thai world champ Rodtang Jitmaungnon. However it is not going to be a strictly MMA bout.
Johnson left the UFC for ONE, where he most recently suffered a brutal knockout loss to Adriano Moraes. Following that loss, he was still in a positive mindset, but said that he was considering trying his hand at kickboxing next.
It seems that he will somewhat be getting his wish, as ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong revealed in an interview on the MMA Hour. Here he explained that DJ will be fighting elite Muay Thai champion Rodtang in a special, mixed rules contest.
Demetrious Johnson vs Rodtang Will Be MMA and Muay Thai
According to Chatri, Demetrious Johnson will be facing Rodtang on December 5th, on the ONE Championship X card. This bout will be a four round contest, where the first and third rounds will consist of Muay Thai rules, while the second and fourth rounds are with an MMA ruleset.
In addition to this, Chatri revealed that the card will also feature bouts between Bibiano Fernandes and John Lineker for the bantamweight belt, as well as Garry Tonon taking on Thanh Le for the promotion’s featherweight title. Both of these bouts are expected to be full-on mixed martial arts contests.
This contest is an interesting one to say the least, with Rodtang clearly having the advantage in the Muay Thai rounds, albeit he is not particularly known for his first round finishes. That being said, while Jitmaungnon has been doing some ground training, Demetrious Johnson will easily have the advantage on the ground, during the second and fourth rounds, if it goes that far.
This is a historic bout, as this type of mixed rules contest is not common in the modern era of combat sports. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.