Heavyweights often catch a lot of flak for not having to adhere to the strict diet most Mixed Martial Artists must adhere to in order to bulk up while still making their contracted limits. However, the same is true for the most part when it comes to undersized fighters rather than simply just the big boys with guys like Frankie Edgar cutting very little weight to make 155 pounds.
In terms of Demetrious Johnson, the UFC’s Energizer Bunny-like bantamweight contender, he’s unable to even compete against foes requiring a division-altering diet given his diminutive dimensions (5’3”).
Johnson recently discussed his desire to compete at 125 pounds once the UFC opens appropriate pool up for swimming in, though has also reviewed his losing performance earlier this month against Dominick Cruz and recognizes he can improve in a few areas while things like height are not likely to change minus a mid-life growth spurt.
Speaking to MMAJunkie, Johnson explained no matter what path he travels, “The road back to the top doesn’t scare me. It’s only going to make me get better and evolve my skill and become a more mature martial artist.”
“I know now that everybody is going to look at that fight and be like, ‘OK, Demetrious has great footwork and speed, and he has great combinations (but) we just need to hold him down,” the 9-2 Johnson explained of his showing at UFC Live 6 against Cruz. “I’ve got to be able to break that habit and get my submission game better and work on getting back up to my feet or taking them down, passing guard and submitting them.”
As far as the ever-present question regarding an eventual move to flyweight, Johnson explained, “Honestly, I’d be happy to there. I’ve been relaxing, eating Jack in the Box and drinking milkshakes. The biggest my weight has got up to has been 145, and I haven’t been training that hard. Obviously in the future I’d love to go down there and test myself and try to be the first UFC 125-pound champion. But right now, I’m focused on 135 until further notice.”
No word has surfaced on who Johnson may be facing next though logical options include the loser of Brian Bowles vs. Urijah Faber in December, the winner of Scott Jorgensen’s clash with Jeff Curran next weekend, fellow undersized 135er Joseph Benavidez, or even a crack at avenging a loss to Brad Pickett if the Brit escapes unscathed at UFC 138.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/HEAVYMMA