Demetrious Johnson, the reigning ONE flyweight world champion, has shared a new update on the possible grappling match against bodybuilder Bradley Martyn.
In recent months, Bradley Martyn, known for his podcasting and fitness expertise, gained attention from the MMA community by suggesting he could hold his own in a street fight against notable fighters like Nate Diaz and the highly skilled Demetrious Johnson.
After learning of Martyn’s claims through their mutual friend Brendan Schaub, Demetrious Johnson swiftly challenged Martyn’s assertion. He proposed a grappling session in California to settle the matter. The initial excitement has subsided somewhat, but in a recent interview with The Schmo, Johnson provided an update on the proposed grappling match.
“As far as I know, he’s now looking to fight Aljo and Merab, so I’m not sure about our match anymore,” Johnson commented. “Bradley Martyn’s podcast persona seems to revolve around hypothetical street fights. I heard he had an offer to fight Mac Perry for a good sum of money, so I’m really not sure.”
Demetrious Johnson confirmed his willingness to engage with Martyn in a grappling contest, but he has prior commitments to address first.
“I had plans to do that after my vacation. However, my wife pointed out that I have the IBJJF Worlds coming up. She suggested I focus on that first,” Johnson explained. “Then, I have responsibilities like helping my professor and assisting Bibiano Fernandes in launching his gym in Canada. After that, I’ll have the time to pursue it. So, I have more pressing obligations before jumping into a match with someone who isn’t even certain about grappling.”
Demetrious Johnson on a match against influencer Bradley Martyn: "It's going to happen" 😳 #TheMMAHour
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) August 16, 2023
In May, Demetrious Johnson secured his sixth victory in the ONE Championship with a win at ONE Fight Night 10, maintaining his ONE flyweight world title that he had earned nine months earlier. Following this victory over Adriano Moraes, Johnson hinted that it could potentially mark the end of his nearly two-decade-long career.
Asked about his potential retirement, Johnson mentioned his current focus on jiu-jitsu. He emphasized that his immediate attention is on the upcoming IBJJF Worlds tournament.
“Right now, my main focus is on grappling. I have the worlds tournament tomorrow,” Johnson said. “It’s a significant opportunity – the largest jiu-jitsu competition globally, with around 10,000 participants. I’m excited to showcase my skills in this different realm.”
Johnson further explained that training in the gi has a unique family-oriented aspect, unlike MMA training, which tends to isolate him from his loved ones. He plans to concentrate on jiu-jitsu for now and reassess his next steps after the tournament.
Currently, Demetrious Johnson is gearing up for the World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship scheduled from August 31 to September 2.
Demetrious Johnson’s Views on the UFC Bantamweight Division’s Situation
Shifting focus, Demetrious Johnson shared his perspective on the ongoing situation in the UFC bantamweight division. He specifically addressed the reluctance of former champion Aljamain Sterling and top-ranked contender Merab Dvalishvili to fight each other due to their friendship.
In contrast to UFC President Dana White, Demetrious Johnson praised Sterling and Dvalishvili for prioritizing their bond over financial gain and titles.
“I find that admirable. Friendships and connections hold more significance than claiming a world championship,” Johnson expressed. “Having spoken with Aljamain Sterling for about 30 minutes, I sensed that his friendships mean more to him. Money comes and goes, as does the opportunity for a world championship. Aljamain Sterling already had his chance at the title, with four consecutive title defenses, if I recall correctly.”
Regarding the current bantamweight titleholder, Johnson believes Sean O’Malley has numerous options to explore. O’Malley has voiced interest in a rematch with Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, the only fighter who has defeated him in the Octagon. Despite the marketability of that rematch, Johnson believes the first title shot should go to Merab Dvalishvili, who holds an impressive nine-fight win streak.
“I believe ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley is well-placed to consider his options. Ultimately, his presence injects new energy into the division. While he did lose to ‘Chito’ Vera, making their rematch an attractive storyline, Merab’s nine-fight win streak takes precedence in my view. Thus, Merab deserves the title shot ahead of Corey Sandhagen and others,” Johnson concluded.