UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has come a long way in just a few years.
After climbing up through the regional ranks and fighting in casinos and other small venues, he’s set to headline UFC on Fox 6 on Jan. 26 against John Dodson. Ahead of the matchup, he joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “The Jordan Breen Show” to discuss Dodson, seeing himself in Fox commercials and more.
On discussion focusing on whether fans will watch the fight instead of how entertaining the fight could be: “That doesn’t bother me at all because at the end of the day, it doesn’t change anything for me. I’m just going to go out there and fight and do my thing. Just because people don’t care about it or don’t want to watch it does not change how I view my fights or how I train for my fights. It does not bother me one bit. I’m very excited to fight on Fox, on a huge platform.”
On whether it’s surreal seeing himself in commercials on Fox: “It’s strange. Don’t get me wrong: It is strange. I don’t take it for granted. I’m very happy. I had a long road to get to where I’m at and I don’t take it for granted. It’s awesome that they’re giving me the limelight. I don’t try to get used to it. I just stay focused and keep on training and remember what got me there.”
On whether fans in the Seattle area realize Johnson lives there: “I think they don’t realize that I live here and they have a champion here. That doesn’t bother me. They don’t need to know that I’m here. I like to just keep on fighting and take care of my family.”
On living a simple life: “I don’t try to get my mind wrapped up in this. ‘Oh man, I’m the champ,’ and all that stuff, and ‘I’m going to go out and get some money and get alcohol.’ That’s just not who I am. I’m a simple guy that just likes to train and go home and get ready for the next one. Regardless of what happens in this fight against John Dodson, nothing’s going to change. I’m going to go home and get ready for the next fight and get after whoever’s next.”
On Dodson sometimes fighting aggressively and sometimes being evasive: “John Dodson’s a great challenger. I’m looking forward to what he brings to the table in this fight, and we’re going to be prepared to fight whatever John Dodson shows up, whether it’s the predator one or the one that wants to run on the bicycle or whatever. I think he’s a great athlete, a great fighter and we’re just looking forward to taking it to him.”
On Dodson’s left hook: “Since he’s a southpaw, his left hand is going to be his prime weapon, but he has a lot of weapons. He has great knees, great kicks and a lot of other great stuff that he probably hasn’t displayed yet.”
On whether he feels pressure to do something extra special in this fight because he is a headliner: “Not at all. My job is to fight. Regardless of if this wasn’t a title fight or if this was a Facebook prelim or whatever, I’m still going to treat it as the same. I’m going to do my thing and fight.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:46:52).