Getting Beat Up in Gym Keeps UFC Flyweight Champ Demetrious Johnson Humble


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Demetrious Johnson has established himself as the top flyweight in the world, but in the gym he takes his share of punishment.

In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show, the UFC 125-pound champion discussed his training, his recent title defense against John Dodson and more.

On getting dropped early in the fight: “I think pretty much everyone he’s fought has been dropped by him. I think that’s something I had to show in that fight, that it’s going to happen -- I wish I didn’t have to get dropped, but it happened. I wasn’t going to get discouraged that I got dropped. Hey, it’s going to happen. Just keep pushing forward and make him fight for this win.”

On the adjustments he made: “I can’t see everything that’s going on in the Octagon when I’m fighting, but Matt Hume and my other coaches are able to pinpoint what’s going on in there. Like, ‘You’re standing right in front of him.’ ‘You keep getting tall, and that’s why you’re getting hit.’ He was like, ‘Circle to your left, away from the power, and everything will be fine.’ Which is a no brainer, but sometimes you’ve got to get adjusted because Dodson moves a little bit different in there.”

On how he scored the fight: “I absolutely believe I won [rounds] three, four and five. Round one was pretty close. It was back and forth, and then round two, he definitely won that with dropping me twice.”

On the exposure he got from fighting on Fox: “I think a lot more people noticed me. I was driving with my wife the other day and some dude just rolled down his window and he goes, ‘Good fight! Yeahhhh!’ and he took off.”

On his use of elbows against the cage after climbing on Dodson: “That came from [trainer Matt Hume]. A long time ago he did it to me when I was still an amateur and he was just tearing my temple up. I was like, ‘Man.’ … I’m still getting comfortable in there in the Octagon and I saw the opportunity arise and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to try it,’ and it ended up working.”

On making opponents carry his weight: “That’s one of the things that Matt Hume has brought into my arsenal. I’ve been doing it inside the gym when guys put me against the cage, and it really drains them because they’re carrying all my weight.”

On getting pushed in training: “I get tested all the time. Matt Hume is not a coach who sits there and tells you to do something. He gets in there and he beats me up. There was one time after I beat Joseph [Benavidez], I was in there rolling and Matt was laughing. He goes, ‘We’re going to kick your butt,’ and then everyone just beat me up. … Sometimes when I win, it doesn’t feel like I’m the best in the world just because I get beat up all the time in the gym. It keeps my humbleness about me.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 46:11).

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