If your looking for a super detailed breakdown video on the skill set of Demetrious Johnson check out. That’s not what this one is gonna be about because after 15 pages of notes I realized what I was finally trying to say. Mayweather, Roman Gonzalez, Marcelo Garcia, etc. All of these individuals were well ahead of the curve in all areas of the game. What does that have do with anything simply DJ is that guy in the MMA world of complete fighting. He’s done something I have only seen partial done by Tyson and done fully by Marcelo, Kron, and Mayweather. Mayweather expalined it the best, his life was consuned by boxing and he pulled from every great being able to dance and land moving backwards like Ali switching and power jabs like Hagler, jabs like Holmes, lead hooks like Roy Jones, and speed with substance like Sugar Ray. Now on a large scale Demetrious has done that under the teaching of Matt Hume hes taken the long history of martial arts and downloaded it into Demetrious. DJ is a flawless with his fundamentals which means he has an answer for everything he jab would impress GSP, that straight punch is like Mayweather himself was throwing it, then those hooks hes Hagler when he wants to be stepping throw and shifting and when he throws those lead hooks to the body on guys like Dodson Bas Rutten is somewhere having a psychedelic experience yelling liver shot. His boxing superb and would make his counter part in combat sports Roman Gonzalez super happy about the Mouse giving out lessons. Kickboxing is pretty much on par with or just a nudge behind that of a high level jockey gym member not Saenchai but you understand… I hope. Alright his grappling even though I am not the authority here his postioning on every shot is sprinter perfect and he doenst leave himself open to counter top game like Matt Hume which means hes still decades ahead of the game off his back he may be a white belt in the Gi but his training partner Bibiano has but him through it and off his back hes as much a threat as any high level grappler in the UFC excusing Maia and Werdum from that list. Now for the spotlight area of DJs game the clinch. Listen folks if you saw the Ali fight you know his clinch is on par with the best full rules Thai fighters out there. His clinch is beyond Anderson Silvas because he lands everything on all angles from the plum and from the single collar tie. I put him on par with James McSweeney’s and past Josh Barnetts clinch. McSweeney’s clinch was outside heavy which I love… cough anyway DJs is inside heavy but hes so diverse in his striking that even inside he will say screw it when he has the plum and go right into a hook or horizontal elbow before reapplying the plum and landing knees to the body… cut to Cejudos fight. Now for the hardest part of his game. Nicholas and Nathan Diaz have neen doing ot for ever pressure do to cardio. DJ is has super hero cardio (something I’m working on swimming rowing and airdyne sprints) anyhow the cardio is a giant weapon after he sets a running pace its only up from there if you cant maintain he will eat you alive. You here Matt yelling it out all the time “stay on em stay on em” and that’s not smother them with strikes its stay on them in range to land and defend but its constant. Constantly presenting a threat drains the target. The only guy not named Diaz that does this better with getting hit us Demetrious bar NONE.
DJ is the the most technically brilliant fighter similar to the boxers like Guillermo Rigondeaux or a Roman Gonzalez more so Chocolatito right down to the disrespect he gets from the mainstream combat sport fan. Hes the best simply the best, because he has no super genetic advantages against his opponent, everyone at his weight class has been fighting if not the same amount of time or longer with world class abilities everywhere. What separates DJ is his technical proficiency similar to Guillermo, Roman, and Floyd. With people making outlandish comments about fighting even when these folks have no experience at the highest level of combat, just like casual fans of boxing saying Mayweather did not engage with Pacman enough (cough cough that’s not boxing that’s just stupid). With casual MMA fans only seeing the cursory information with Ronda or Jon Jones they don’t realize that if someone was in there respective weight classes that fought just like DJ Ronda would be screwed and Jon would have a run for his money. Why, well I’ll get to that after my little wink wink rant. What baffles many of the insiders or the folks that train is the idea that just because he’s little doesn’t mean he’s not exciting or dangerous I mean for god sakes the only reason Dominick Cruz won their fight was because he took him down and put his size on him when he could, but he was getting beat standing and that’s saying something to out strike a Bantamweight King. The casual fan with an ego may think he could beat him up, yeah okay that will never happen. He is too fast too crisp, to smart, and has too much cardio, he’s got a highly level of wrestling ability; for anyone but a 125 to really compete with him. He’s got a master for a trainer who has forgotten more than most people think they know. If I said that there’s a guy fighting guys always going for the finish, where he’s finishing guys and he has every technique standing and grappling down pat everyone would be stoked to watch this fighter fight, but because DJ’s 125 and 5’3 he becomes outcast-ed. That’s the wild part but history will remember as a great and history will decide if he is the best. You have to understand his struggle to understand his greatness in my own opinion.
Mighty Mouse is an expert at everything striking and a grappler making leaps and bounds. Striking wise Matt Hume’s kickboxing and Muay Thai ability and pedigree is still ahead of his time teaching DJ his style of striking. His clinch work is beautiful against the cage kneeing his opponents body or head. Striking in the middle of the cage switching stances landing counter strikes staying inside the pocket and landing on the outside. Kicks off combinations and leg kicks that happen before his opponents can react to. When he lands it’s never just one he’s moving with volume and pressure constant pressure. His cardio is a weapon and weapon developed over time and constant endurance work, he doesn’t let them rest and when a volume persist puncher and fast grappler decides to pressure you your own endurance gets zapped. He’s a energy draining highly developed fighter with remarkably technical skill not a good mix for the opposition. For example look at this combination he put on Dodson in their final rounds, it was a devastating display of striking. Hes so percist he makes Conor look amature in a way.
On a grappling level he is developed by Matt Hume for MMA similar to a Rickson approach if you will. He stays safe first, then moves to step one which is usually to base guard to get to side control, then he steps over the arm putting his knee in the elbow. Clasping the other arm to get the crucifix, then immediately landing elbows and punches to the face. Once the opponent starts to go into panic immediately, he capitalizes on the Kimura, Americana, Arm Bar or whatever and finishes.He always looks to finish and that’s most apparent in his Horiguchi bout where he gets the latest finish in UFC history his records don’t lie. The really wild part of his game is his ghost like power double, he hits the ground like lightning, and shoots like an Olympian. He sets it up with his striking better than GSP could ever hope to and hits it ungodly fast where Joe Rogan will just be besides himself when he sees DJ hit it. Everything he does is seamless and damn near perfect. Nobody else can say that you can clinch with him and eat knees and get beat on the inside and reversed so you take knees to the dome. Wrestle with him and you get beat because his sweeps are world class and he will get on top or snatch and arm, try to out pressure him yeah good luck out pacing this guy you have a better chance trying to out smoke Nick Diaz and winning a race. His goal is to always improve upon himself and he takes every step to do it properly he doesn’t sacrifice what got him to the dance. Matt Hume being a original JDK member and legacy of Bruce Lee’s teaching he takes what is useful and ingrains it into his game and you see that in the span of his Bantamweight days to now. He just is a masterful guy like a Rickson, or a Ali, or Floyd, or Ramon Dekkers. He’s a great already and will hopefully continue to be great inside and outside the cage.
Now for his not so great tendencies, he does make mistakes that get him in trouble sometimes or where he could capitalize to finish. Jack Slack at Fight-land has a beautiful piece on DJ on his tendencies, link is right here. His major misstep sometimes is his switching of stances and getting caught squared up during the switch and then getting flustered. It happened in his Dodson bout where he got dropped 3 times each because of he would switch within arms reach and not inside the reach or right outside of it. It’s something Hume talked him through to fix in his Dodson fight, because it was on the fly he had to adjust in his 3rd round to really do it correctly and deal with Johns speed, once he adjusted it was over. Since hes had a slew of matches since that bout and his level of striking ability and fundamental sharpness in this NEO Footwork has been improved by his trainers and he in my opinion has a true blend of Neo and traditional Midwest defensive boxing footwork. Another thing that I have to credit Jack Slack for bringing to my attention is his lack of a set up when he chases before he throws a kick. A lot of times he just will throw it from the rear and will telegraph while if he hides it behind a jab or 1, 2, 3 he could land a kick. Again its becoming less and less sloppy, I mean its becoming something were you can only see little problems that may happen. Hes becoming to sharp like a Rigondeaux where he sees what you present the adjustment is immediate and hes landing like 200 strikes during those 5 rounds, with half or 65% being significant strikes.
Hes nothing to take lightly and to not have this man as the 1st or 2nd pound for pound is just ridiculous when you look at the opponents hes beaten. The Flyweights hes beaten are a majority of former 135 champion contenders and the best of the technical fighters, because the best technicians are the smaller people who have to use technique to win and not athleticism.
Now for the reason I wrote this, its easy to fiscount someone based on there starure or intimidating nature but we have learned as a society that that means nothing. Ask Tyson Ronda Holly McGregor and GSP none of it matters all that matters is technically dotting your I’s and crossing your Tees. The only way to beat a Roman, Mayweather, or DJ is to out technique them but to do that is virtual unheard of or to be 20 or 30 pounds heavy then them on fight night… cough cough D Cruz. Anyway, thats the jist of it all brillance is brillance no matter how you slice it be they bigger or small. All that matters is how well you create, meaning you could have all the skill in the world but if you font have the mind to blind it all you have is a bunch of meaningless tools. To put another way is Prince, Prince had all the sounds in the world vut he had the mind to blend them to make beautiful sound. All that matters at the end of the day is understanding the artistry in Mighty Mouses paintings, he’s a Basquiat in a world full of finger painters.
-Stay Chill Family and Folks