Demetrious Johnson has an exit from mixed martial arts all planned out.
Johnson (30-3-1) challenges for Adriano Moraes' (18-3) ONE Championship flyweight title. Prior to the bout, "Mighty Mouse" told Fightful about his retirement plan.
"I think that's the most important part, having an end in sight. You see some of these athletes just fight forever and ever and ever. For me, I'm 34-years-old. I would love to be finished fighting within four years [at] 38-years-old. I don't foresee myself jumping back over to a North American promotion. I can't predict the future, but as of now, I'm very happy with ONE Championship. I'm very happy where I'm competing at and I look forward to the future," he said. "Three or four years. I don't want to be fighting until I'm 39 or 40. I've been fighting since I was 18. I feel like 18 to 38 that's 20 years in the game. That's 20 years of competing and being an athlete... As you get older, there is no point in taking shots to the face and getting concussions. The potential of getting knocked out, all that stuff. There is no point in risking that anymore."
Moraes vs. Johnson has been in the works since the latter won the ONE Championship Flyweight Grand Prix in October 2019, but "Mighty Mouse" hasn't been in a year-long camp.
"We took advantage of letting the body chill and relax and not worry about fighting. We put fighting on the back burner because it just wasn't possible to make the fight happen," Johnson said. "I'm not scared to work for my title shot. I don't want to go in there and be given anything. I want to work for it. I love how I went about doing it with the Flyweight World Grand Prix and getting a sweet belt afterwards. Now I get the opportunity to get the divisional belt."
Johnson has been immortalized in action figure form several times over. He touched on what the opportunity means to him.
"It's pretty dope. I don't know what feelings I should have because I never expected it to happen. But it's kind of dope. When the opportunity came to be made into an MMA bobblehead, I was honored," he shared. "Who wouldn't want to have an artistic statue made of themselves and their career... I think at the end of the day, I'm going to be curious to see what my kids think. I have my very first one with my UFC. Each one of my kids has one. I have four more that are in plastic containers that have never been opened. Then I have the MMA bobblehead and I also have another one coming out which is a vinyl figure, almost like a Funko Pop. They're all cool and I'm just blessed and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to have these things done."
Moraes vs. Johnson headlines ONE on TNT 1. The event takes place on April 7. Keep up with Fightful for your event-related coverage.