Former UFC champ Demetrious Johnson crossing over to BJJ

A long time UFC champion will be trading in his gloves for a BJJ gi.

By: Anton Tabuena | 4 days ago

An UFC all-time great will be crossing over for a major BJJ tournament.

Demetrious Johnson, known as the UFC’s all-time great at flyweight, will be switching sports and wearing the gi at the 2023 IBJJF Masters World Championships.

Long time UFC champion Demetrious Johnson does a backflip. He will also compete in BJJ soon.

Demetrious Johnson to compete in IBJJF Masters Worlds

The IBJJF Masters World Championships is a prestigious jiujitsu event designed for those that are age 30 and above, and typically has a stacked field of talented competitors. The 2023 iteration will be held on August 31 to September 2, in Las Vegas, and “Mighty Mouse” has already officially signed up.

The 36-year-old Johnson has signed up for his age group, the Masters 2 division (age 35+) at brown belt. He will be representing his long term team in Matt Hume’s AMC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Johnson vs Reis, Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Demetrious Johnson (Red Gloves) following the win over and Wilson Reis (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports, 15.04.2017 21:20:17, 10014925, UFC Fight Night, Wilson Reis, Demetrious Johnson, Sprint Center, MMA PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xRonxChenoyx 10014925

Johnson may have been champion at 125 lbs in the UFC and 135 lbs in ONE, but for this jiujitsu competition, he won’t really be cutting weight and will be competing at 154 lbs. As of this writing, his division already has 37 members registered, which means he will need several wins in order to medal.

It’s worth noting that ONE Championship also hosts grappling matches on their events, but Johnson instead chose to pay to compete in this major BJJ event instead.

Mighty Mouse’s decorated MMA career

Demetrious Johnson is one of the all-time greats in mixed martial arts, and has compiled a 25-4-1 record in the sport. After years competing at 135 lbs, Johnson became the inaugural UFC flyweight champion in 2012 and went on to defend the title a record 11 times.

Late in 2018, he moved to ONE Championship where he now holds the promotion’s title at 135 lbs. Johnson most recently competed last May, where he won the trilogy with Adriano Moraes and defended his belt.

Soon after that last fight, Johnson contemplated retirement, and consulted with fellow decorated UFC champions on a possible decision.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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