Demetrious Johnson Claims Esports Are More Popular Than MMA

Former UFC Flyweight Demetrious Johnson is back in action at One Championship Century: Part One, facing Danny Kingad in the One Championship Flyweight World Grand Prix Finals.

Johnson is an avid gamer and he believes that Esports are more popular than mixed martial arts.

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“It already has,” Johnson said to MMA Fighting. “Esports is way more popular than mixed martial arts. It all depends on the demographic. If you look at the viewership of the numbers of the DOTA 2 finals, you look at League of Legends finals, you look at Twitch itself – even though Twitch is more of a cumulative thing – but you look at the esports with Call of Duty, Rainbow Six Siege, the list just goes on. If you look at mixed martial arts, you have the UFC, you have ONE Championship, you have Bellator, you have Rizin, but those events are once or twice, three times a month. I think there’s a big [gaming event] every single damn weekend, not just in North America but in Europe, Asia, whether it’s League of Legends, whether it’s DOTA, whether it’s Overwatch, whether it’s Street Fighter V. The difference why it’s more popular is that everybody can do it. Anybody can play video games. Not everybody can fight, not everybody can choose to fight, not everybody has the confidence to fight, not everybody has the confidence to go to the gym and get healthy, live this lifestyle. But every single person in the world can understand how to press a button.”

Esports has definitely grown in popularity over the years, with live Esports events airing on TBS, ESPN, Disney XD and other networks.

The former UFC star also says that a lot of other top MMA stars take part in the playing of video games.

“It all depends on what game it is, what we’re doing,” Johnson said. “There are some hardcore gamers, like Robert Whittaker’s hardcore, Martin Nguyen, he’s hardcore. ‘The Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt, he’s big into Counter-Strike. Paulo Costa, I heard he’s big into games. A lot of us play games and we all play different games. So it all just depends on what game it is. But I like to think that I’m up there. I’m always clocking long hours, playing World of Warcraft as of right now. There’s a lot of us gamers out there. I’m probably the more outspoken one and upfront about it, where my social media, sometimes I don’t post anything because I’m like, I’m playing f*cking video games. Instead of me putting the camera in front of my f*cking face, I’ll be playing video games.”

One Championship Century: Part One takes place on Saturday, October 12 from the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan with Angela Lee and Jingnan Xiong headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on TNT.

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