With The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 130 scheduled for May 28, the speedy, 5'3" Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, discusses his next bantamweight contest versus the much taller Miguel Torres, who stands six inches above his opponent.
Following a three-fight win streak, including a unanimous decision versus highly touted Japanese fighter Kid Yamamoto, the shorter Johnson welcomes the height difference as he prepares against the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) 135-pound champion, as he explains to MMAMania’s Brian Hemminger:
"Being 5'3" with him 5'9", there's a huge height difference,” states Johnson. “If he wants to punch me, he has to punch down, which exposes his chin, and if I want to hit him, I have to reach up and my chin will always be protected. It's like David and Goliath. David was a little guy and he had to throw up and Goliath had to break his posture to hit David with a good clean shot."
Though “Mighty Mouse” wasn’t initially slated to fight Torres, as UFC bantamweight contender Brad Pickett had to withdraw due to injury, he’s definitely grateful for this fantastic opportunity to fight a former champion:
"I was very honored when the UFC gave me the call and asked me if I wanted to step up and take on Miguel Torres instead of Renan Barão,” says Demetrious.
"Now I'm stepping up to take on Miguel Torres. I trained really hard for this fight and it's gonna go down in the Octagon on Spike TV,” exclaims the AMC Pankration fighter.
Though there are few 135-pounders to train with in his Washington state-based gym, Johnson feels that sparring with larger and stronger training partners is an advantage:
"This morning I worked out two hours with a guy who's 205 and has very good knowledge of the mixed martial arts game. It helps me because it makes my body get adapted to be pushed the whole time,” said the Kentucky bred wrestler. “You see guys go against guys their own size, and that's good too, but when I'm rolling on the ground and I have a guy who's 205 pounds on me, it makes my body work and it conditions every single part of my body.
“Whether it's my tendons, my wrists, whatever, it's getting worked the whole time. It's a good benefit for me and when I get in there with guys my own size, like 5'3" or whatever, it's a piece of cake because I'm used to kicking guys in the head who are 5'10" or 5'11"."
As “Mighty Mouse” takes on a former world champion in Torres, it will be exciting to see how Demetrious handles the sizable 10-inch reach difference, as he owns a 66-inch reach, while Torres possesses a 76-inch reach advantage.
Regardless, Johnson’s heart and dedication is unparalleled and a fight of this magnitude is well deserved. As the UFC’s 135 pound weight class continues to bring energetic, fast-paced fights, this bantamweight match-up has the makings to be filled with non-stop action and be equally exciting as well.
Roland Riso is a contributing writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained from MMAMania.com.