Demetrious Johnson Offers Update on Fight with Bodybuilder Bradley Martyn: ‘Last I Heard He’s Trying to Fight Aljo’

'Mighty Mouse' says his clash with Bradley Martyn is currently up in the air, but for now, DJ is focused on competing at the IBJJF Worlds this week

Demetrious Johnson
Courtesy of @ONEChampionship and @BradleyMartyn on Twitter

Reigning ONE flyweight world champion Demetrious Johnson updated fans on his proposed grappling match with bodybuilder Bradley Martyn.

Over the last few months, Martyn, a popular podcaster and fitness guru, has earned the attention of the MMA community after suggesting that he could handle himself in a street fight with some of the sports’ biggest names, including Nate Diaz and one of the pound-for-pound greatest fighters to ever strap on the four-ounce gloves, Demetrious Johnson. 

Getting wind of the comments through their mutual friend, Brendan Schaub, ‘Mighty Mouse’ was quick to call Martyn’s bluff, suggesting the two could have a grappling session in California. Since then, things have quieted down a bit between Martyn and DJ, but during a recent interview with The Schmo, Johnson offered an update on the proposed submission showdown. 

“I don’t know. Last time I heard he’s trying to fight Aljo and Merab so I have no idea what’s going on with that,” Johnson said. “I think Bradley Martin, one of his schtick in the podcast world is, ‘Hey, do you think I could beat you in a street fight? Yes or now, blah, blah, blah.’ I think he had an offer to fight Mac Perry for some good money so I have no idea.”

DJ confirmed that he is still more than willing to step on the mat with Martyn once he takes care of a few prior, and frankly, more important obligations.

“I was gonna go there after my vacation. My wife was like, ‘Babe, really? Are we really going to entertain this? You have jiu-jitsu worlds coming up. Let’s get that done.’ Then I have to cover for my professor. I have to go open a gym. Help Bibiano Fernandes open his gym in Canada,” Johnson continued.

“Then after that, we have free time to go out there and do it. So I have prior obligations. More important obligations to attend to instead of just drop out of a plane and go grapple some gentleman that doesn’t even know if he wants to grapple.”

In May, Johnson scored his sixth win under the ONE Championship banner at ONE Fight Night 10, retaining the ONE flyweight world title he had won nine months prior. Following the victory over Adriano Moraes, ‘Mighty Mouse’ suggested that the fight could very well be the last of his nearly 20-year career. 

Asked if he is still mulling over his potential retirement from the sport, Johnson said that his priority right now is jiu-jitsu, but he will be prepared to make a decision regarding his future in MMA very soon.

“Right now I’m more focused on grappling. I’ve got worlds tomorrow,” Johnson said. It’s a big opportunity. The biggest jiu-jitsu tournament in the world. 10,000 competitors. I’m super excited for the opportunity to go out there and showcase my skill set in a different realm.

“In mixed martial arts, there are deficiencies and for me, this is a huge part of mixed martial arts, which is grappling in a gi and I wanted to do this even after my fight because one, my son is doing it, and I always tell people mixed martial arts is a selfish sport. When I’m getting ready for my fights, I’m away from family. When I’m training in my gi, I’m with my kids. I’m with my wife. I’m with my daughter, all of them. 

“So right now I’m focused on jiu-jitsu and then after this tournament, we’ll see what happens next.”

Currently, Demetrious Johnson is gearing up to compete in the World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship running from August 31 through September 2. 

Demetrious Johnson Comments on the Status of the UFC Bantamweight Division

Switching gears, Johnson was asked for his thoughts on the ongoing drama at the top of the UFC bantamweight division. Specifically, the fact that former titleholder Aljamain Sterling and Merab Dvalishvili, the two top-ranked contenders in the weight class, refuse to fight each other. 

Unlike UFC President Dana White, Demetrious Johnson applauded the pair for putting their friendship ahead of money and titles. 

“I’m happy about that. I think that friendships and bonds are a lot bigger than winning a world championship,” Johnson said. “After I spent time, maybe 30 minutes, talking to Aljamain Sterling, I could tell in his soul that friendship means more to him. Because money comes and goes. World championship, that stuff comes and goes and Aljamain Sterling had his opportunity to be a world champion. He’s got four consecutive title defenses I believe.

“Merab hasn’t had that opportunity and for Aljo to give Merab the opportunity to fight for the belt while Aljo sits back and chills, I think that’s great. There are people out there who might think that’s the wrong mindset, but for me, I applaud Aljo for doing that.”

As for the man who currently holds the bantamweight gold, Johnson believes that Sean O’Malley has a lot of options while sitting atop the cluttered bantamweight top ten. 

‘Sugar’ has already called for a rematch with the only man to defeat him inside the Octagon, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. And while that fight will be very easy for the UFC to market given their history, Johnson believes the first title shot should go to the man with the longest string of wins. 

“I think ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley is in the perfect position to have options. I think at the end of the day, it brings fresh air into the division because, yes, he does have a loss to ‘Chito’ Vera so that’s an easy matchup, an easy storyline that they can do. Merab, he’s on a [nine] fight win streak. I think for me, I give more priority to people who are on a win streak. So I think [Merab] deserves the shot over Corey [Sandhagen] and everybody else.”

Published on August 31, 2023 at 4:17 pm
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