Weight cutting is perennially one of the hottest topics of debate within the MMA community, and ONE World Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson has his own opinions.
After battling for multiple promotions at 125 and 135 pounds, he’s seen more than his fair share of weight cuts. In a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan ExperienceJohnson shared some thoughts on how he would like to change the current weight classes:
“It’s not like it’s going to hurt anyone’s brand to add more weight classes. It will give athletes more opportunities to make money in mixed martial arts.”
“In Singapore, I see the guys who are 125 like Jarred Brooks and Alex Silva. We’re all the same height. I wonder how you do 125 hydrated? I can do it, but when I’m next to them, I’m wider, I’m taller, but I’m the same height so ideally it gives people the opportunity to be in certain weight classes where if they were at 135 they would be at a disadvantage of cut.”
Other regional promotions around the world have already experimented with adding weight classes, but it will likely take a larger organization to take the plunge and move the industry forward as a whole. Many promotions point to the value of being able to give away more belts to make sense of events as a reason to add weight classes.
Currently, ONE Championship has the standard weight classes between 125 lbs and 265 lbs, with the addition of a 225 lb weight class for male MMA fighters. For women, the promotion has held fights from 115lbs to 135lbs. However, they do things differently.
ONE prohibits extreme weight loss via dehydration by having athletes compete at their natural “walking” weight. They perform hydration tests at weigh-ins to ensure fighters are properly hydrated 24 hours before their fight. This has proven to be safer for athletes.
Demetrious Johnson loves the way ONE Championship ‘mixes things up’
By the time Demetrious Johnson joined ONE Championship, he had already accomplished almost everything he could in MMA. After battling the creme de la creme in his division through the WEC and UFC, he was ready for new experiences in ONE Championship.
In the same JRE appearance, Johnson had this to say about his ONE experience:
“We had a boxing match, which was for a WBC title – boxing gloves, full boxing. It was a world title fight. That’s one of the things I love about ONE Championship is that they mix things up, so when I had the opportunity to go out there and compete like I knew I would, I had the opportunity to do something fun like I did with Rodtang.
So far, Demetrious Johnson has won the ONE MMA World Flyweight Championship and competed in a mixed rules bout with Rodtang. He is also entertained competing in the new grappling division against athletes like Mikey Musemeci.
The Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt is a complete fighter and has the freedom to compete in any opportunity that comes his way, be it MMA, striking, grappling or something in between.