Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, was born on August 13th, 1986, in Madisonville, Kentucky but grew up in Parkland, Washington. He started his Pro MMA career in 2007 and has truly left his mark as among one of the all-time great athletes to ever participate in the sport.
From transitioning to WEC, cementing his legacy in the UFC, and now the current Flyweight Champion of the World in One Championship, he’s showcased his skill sets that prove him to be the greatest flyweight of all time, producing a professional record currently standing at 31-4-1.
Demetrious had wrestled throughout high school and once he started community college he needed to step away from the mats to fund his studies.
That was until 2005 when he saw Rashad Evans kicking a bag and thought ‘Hey, this looks like a bit of fun so I’ll try it.’ Demetrious was known for his athletic and freakish speed and while you’d think that’s how he got his nickname ‘Mighty Mouse’ it was really given to him by his first coach because he was training with heavyweights and middleweights.
DJ would tell you now that he prefers to go by the name ‘Mighty’. He currently trains at Fight Ready MMA in Scottsdale, Arizona alongside Former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo and others.
The 36 year-old was around one or two different promotions before stepping foot into a recognized WEC which consisted of fighters like Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson and Jose Aldo to name a few.
He would fight at bantamweight (135lb) during his time there and ended in WEC with a 2-1 record before WEC had merged with the UFC.
Johnson started his UFC bantamweight career with a 2-0 record with both wins coming by decision before being given the opportunity to fight title holder at the time, Dominick Cruz.
Cruz had gotten the better of Mighty Mouse using his wrestling and IQ and had won a unanimous decision to remain the UFC Bantamweight champion. The UFC had then opened up a Flyweight tournament where the winner would then go on to be the first UFC Flyweight Champion.
Demetrious would become the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion winning a Split Decision over a tough Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 on September 22nd, 2012 through utilizing his wrestling, boxing and workrate.
After that moment, DJ had gone on a tear going unbeaten for over 5 years and to this day still holds records for ‘Tied latest finish in UFC history at 4:59 of the fifth round vs Kyoji Horiguchi via armbar’ and the record for ‘most consecutive title defenses in the UFC’ (11) breaking Anderson Silva’s 10.
As of now he is tied for the 3rd longest winning streak in the UFC with the likes of Georges St Pierre, Jon Jones, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway (13) behind the likes of Kamaru Usman (15) and Anderson Silva (16) and has the 3rd most title fight wins in the UFC (12) behind Georges St-Pierre (13) and Jon Jones (15).
After losing a razor close Split Decision against Henry Cejudo in the rematch resulting in losing the UFC Flyweight Title in 2019, DJ had found a new home for Mixed Martial Arts within ONE Championship and was put straight into a Flyweight GrandPrix where he came out on top and was in line for a ONE Championship Flyweight title shot.
He is currently the ONE Championship Flyweight Champion after getting redemption via the first bout vs Adriano Moraes where both encounters ended in a stoppage via knee. The trilogy will be settled on May 5th 2023.
So without further ado, let’s dig into why his mixed martial arts game is so damn good as we break down Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Joseph Benavidez 2 – UFC on FOX 9 (Dec. 14, 2013)
Demetrious Johnson had a point to prove after the first encounter between the two ended in a Split Decision win for Demetrious.
As you can see in the very short highlight clip, Demetrious uses excellent distance management going in and out with his striking, ensuring he’s never feeling the cage behind his back.
This allows him to bring the fight back to the center of the octagon as seen through every exchange in the highlights to start his offense and work his gameplan.
DJ had a moment where he has Benavidez backed up against the cage and lands a beautiful right hand at the 0:58 mark of the video closing the fight before following up with the execution shots.
Before the fight ends, you can see Benavidez put his right knee up potentially expecting an incoming leg kick but the speed and IQ Mighty Mouse showcases in the striking finds a gap to end the bout being the first to stop Benavidez at 2:08 of the first round by KO earning himself a ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonus.
4. Vs. Henry Cejudo 1 – UFC 197 (Apr. 23, 2016)
Going up against an Olympic Gold Medalist in Freestyle Wrestling and a current 4-fight winning streak at the time, Demetrious Johnson defended his Flyweight Championship and took on Henry Cejudo at UFC 197.
Henry believed he could impose his high level wrestling game alongside his technical striking and knockout power but Mighty Mouse had other ideas.
With the fight starting from 13:28 in the video clip, you can immediately see the early clinch control from Cejudo and getting a takedown trip at 13:42 of the video.
DJ is up from the ground 35 seconds later within the fight and starts to implement his Muay Thai skills in an intensely close clinch game producing knees to the head and body every time Henry tries to get close.
This leaves Cejudo stunned at 13:52 of the video before dropping a devastating knee at 13:58 with 2:14 left of round 1. This shuts Cejudo’s body down, officially ending the bout at 2:49 of the very first round by TKO earning himself a ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus with Bruce Buffer shouting ‘And Still…’
3. Vs. Adriano Moraes 2 – ONE on Prime Video (Aug. 27, 2022)
Coming off of the loss from the first fight with Moraes and being stopped for the first time in his career, Demetrious had a chance at retribution vs Moraes and to claim the ONE FC Flyweight Championship.
Just 30 seconds in, you can see both men with minor kicking exchanges trying to lure in the other through feints to open up other avenues of their game.
Demetrious constantly changes his stance to get Moraes thinking while Moraes tries to be aggressive and measure the distance. DJ tries to get into his head at 3:09 of the first round, showing a very Roy Jones Jr attitude to see how Moraes will react.
Moraes catches a kick at 2:57 of the first round resulting in pushing him up against the cage and securing a takedown. He also controlled the remaining half of round 1 on the ground with offense, trying to transition while Demetrious would attempt an armbar and to create space for himself to get to his feet.
In round 2, within the first 15 seconds, you see Demetrious throw a left low kick and Moraes making him pay with a fantastic straight right counter snapping Demetrious’ head back.
Moraes lands a head kick at 4:11 of the round which has Demetrious stepping back with Moraes trying to close in.
While Moraes comes in, Demetrious shoots for a double leg takedown but Moraes showcases a great sprawl and takedown defense not allowing the follow through, and throws knees to make him pay for the attempt.
Demetrious gets back up with 1:30 of the round having passed and both fighters clinch up against the cage with DJ throwing some knees and Moraes using his intelligence to grab a lifted knee and execute a takedown.
Moraes remains in control of the round on the ground until the last 40 seconds where DJ throws elbows from the bottom followed by up kicks and posits separation between the two before Moraes jumps into side control with an attack in the last 10 seconds when the round ends.
In Round 3, DJ shows a bit more urgency pushing the fight within the first 15 seconds closing the distance and landing a lovely left hook.
The pace and cardio Demetrious has starts to show within this round as every time DJ feints it tends to draw a reaction for Moraes allowing DJ to plan his attacks. Moraes also looks to be slowing down as the combos are coming through cleaner from DJ shown at 2:40 left of round 3.
Demetrious, showing his immense technical skill on the feet and his immense conditioning just starts getting into his own rhythm and fighting his fight.
At the start of round 4 Demetrious once again is on the front foot, finding his angles to land on the feet. Moraes is back to working the clinch game but DJ is happy to be there and execute his own Muay Thai skills with knees at around 3:30 of the round left. Moraes gets a chance to be on the attack and lands a great standing elbow with 2:07 left on the clock.
With 1:10 to go of round 4, Demetrious throws up a left knee with Moraes thinking to catch it or counter with his left. DJ ducks under and sees an opening on Moraes’s left side (as his hand wasn’t protecting that side).
Then he throws a straight right hand landing flush to the face forcing Moraes into a squat position as he stumbles back towards the cage before landing a phenomenally-timed knee to the face – walking off knowing Moraes is out cold and the bout was done.
DJ had tied the score between the two ironically ending the bout the same way Moraes did the first, securing the ONE FC Flyweight Championship at 3:50 into Round 4 earning a ‘Performance of the Night’.
2. Vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – UFC 186 (Apr. 25, 2015)
Demetrious Johnson took on an undefeated Kyoji Horiguchi who loves to brawl and be in an aggressive fight loving to depend on his knockout power!
This fight had big implications for DJ as he had the ability to tie Anderson Silva’s record for Most Consecutive Title Defenses with him coming in at 9 while Anderson was on 10.
In round 1 DJ starts utilizing his striking, mixing in wrestling and takedowns which have Horiguchi thinking about the vast array of attacks in DJ’s arsenal.
In round 2, DJ shows some counters but Horiguchi applies his own attack with a good combo 20 seconds in followed by a knee, but Mighty Mouse locks his hands around Kyoji’s waist to minimize any attack and potentially take the fight to the ground but Kyoji is the one who gets the trip.
DJ then gets back to the feet and decides to take Kyoji down himself, maintaining control for around 30 seconds before the fight is brought back to the feet whereupon DJ brings it right back down.
In round 3, it becomes more evident that DJ would rather wrestle with Horiguchi as opposed to keeping it on the feet to keep the fight under his control as seen throughout the duration of the round.
In the last 20 seconds of the round, DJ locks Kyoji in a full-mounted crucifix with Kyoji’s right arm defenseless and tries to form an attack by laying down shots.
Getting into round 5, you can clearly see the cardio and workrate on display as DJ just looks that much more conditioned whilst the evident takedowns become easier to get.
In the last 10 seconds of the final round, DJ has Horiguchi in full mount and switches over to an armbar securing the submission victory with 1 second left. This ties Anderson Silva’s record for the Most Consecutive Title Defenses (10) and the record for the latest finish in UFC Championship Fight history with an official time of 4:59 into round 5 via Submission.
1. Vs. Ray Borg – UFC 216 (Oct. 7, 2017)
If we thought the Horiguchi fight was a landmark moment for Demetrious, the bout vs Ray Borg takes it to another level.
This was the bout for DJ to one up Anderson Silva and get his consecutive title defenses to 11, really leaving his mark amongst all-time UFC champions.
The round starts straight away and evidently DJ implements a kicking game just to get points on the board and throw out attacks for Ray Borg alongside his mental game of feints.
Borg tries to cut DJ off the octagon but DJ’s elusiveness is just too much for Borg to get close. Borg manages to grab a leg coming back up off the ground prior to a takedown, but DJ spins and gets back control.
He follows Ray’s movement with 2:35 of the round left and gets into half guard position at 1:45 remaining, utilizing moments of offense.
Round 2 starts early in the clinch between the two with Borg going for a guillotine but DJ gets out of it, whereupon Borg executes a couple of takedowns of his own. On both occasions DJ got up, Borg tried to jump and take his back but is shrugged off landing in his guard.
Round 3 plays a bit more on the feet with Borg just trying to press the fight whilst DJ uses his technique and angles to get in and out.
Borg then grabs a leg but Demetrious makes him pay and gets side control whilst 3:52 of the round remains.
The rest of the round consists of DJ maintaining back control trying to work a submission but Borg shows good defense and scrambles out with 40 seconds left on the clock and attempts to grab the neck. The round ends with both getting back up but DJ puts Borg right back down again.
In round 4 Borg shows urgency from the off pushing the pace and getting inside, landing a big takedown within the first 15 seconds.
DJ uses a good butterfly guard to prevent Borg’s offense mounting before getting himself back to his feet. The fight remains in the clinch until DJ secures a trip in the last 30 seconds of the round and has side control to work before the round comes to an end.
In the final round 5 of the Championship fight, both men are involved in scrambles and DJ executes a beautiful knee to the mid-section with 2:46 left on the clock which halts Borg slightly.
Thirty seconds later, DJ throws short knees before he suplexes Borg, transitioning mid-air into an arm bar, and by forcefully cranking down on it, the pain and agony on Borg’s face become patently obvious forcing the submission tap.
This result has cemented history in the UFC until this day with DJ breaking the record and adding to his legacy with one of the best submissions you will ever see in an MMA fight.
Mighty Mouse is a beast! What a great article!
Well written article, enjoyed the read! I agree with the rankings of all the fights. One of the best top 5 MMA finishes article written about Demetrious Johnson. Would definitely share this!