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Demetrious Johnson Keeping Close Eye On Akhmetov At ONE 158, ‘I’m Sure Our Paths Will Cross’

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ONE Championship returns on Friday, June 3, with ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen. On the docket, #2-ranked flyweight contender Kairat Akhmetov defends his position against Tatsumitsu Wada.

Demetrious Johnson Keeping Close Eye On Akhmetov

One of the most interested parties in the matchup is Demetrious Johnson.

As one of the division’s top stars, Johnson has already been looking closely at Akhmetov’s overall game.

“I don’t really know much about his wrestling style. I don’t know whether it’s collegiate or freestyle or what exactly he did. But you know, when I see him fight, he’s very good at wrestling and putting his opponents down,” said Johnson.

“I haven’t seen much of a style where he’s looking to posture up, pass, or look for submissions or resume to sustain guard and rain down punches. For my wrestling game, I use my wrists to get to my game where I’m taking guys down.”

“I posture in, and I’ll look at him, and then I pass. [I’m] not too concerned about trying to rain down damage because, you know, submissions are going to end the fight at any point.”

Although he is complimentary of the #2-ranked contender’s game, Johnson was not picking a victor in the matchup. After having met Wada inside the Circle, Johnson understands the dangers the Japanese star possesses with his long limbs.

Johnson believes it all comes down to execution on fight night.

“[It’s about] who’s going to go out there and fight. I don’t give predictions because I feel they’re both good. The only time I actually give predictions is if I feel super solid on the person’s skill set, and they’re just better than that other person,” said Johnson.

But even though he is unsure of the outcome, Johnson still expects to meet Akhmetov in the future.

Noting the marquee wins on his resume, Johnson is sure that Akhmetov will remain a threat in the division and that they will be standing across the Circle from one another at some point down the road. Perhaps even with gold on the line.

“At the end of the day, I’m sure our paths will cross, as long as he stays healthy and I stay healthy. Whether he’s a champion or I’m the champion, or we’re just fighting as contenders, I’m sure we’ll end up fighting at some point in our careers,” said Johnson.

ONE 158 airs live and free on on Friday, June 3, at 5:30 a.m. ET/2:30 a.m. PT.

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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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