At first, Demetrious Johnson figured he’d educate Bradley Martyn when the influencer and 240-pound personal trainer scoffed at the idea of getting beaten up by a 125-pound MMA fighter in a street fight.
Then things went viral, and there’s talk of an actual contest between Johnson and Martyn.
Johnson chuckled at the idea on Wednesday’s edition of The MMA Hour. It’s definitely not something he was looking to do with his time, but now that things have gotten so amplified online, he can’t turn away.
“I never knew who Bradley Martyn was until Brendan Schaub did that interview with him,” Johnson explained. “He has this thing, ‘I bet I can beat you in a street fight.’ Let’s stop right there.
“A street fight. What is technically a street fight? Ask yourself that, everybody out there who is watching this, ask yourself what is a street fight? I know what a street fight is. A street fight is anything goes. I had a buddy who got jumped by five f****** dudes, guess what he carries on him? H pulled his shirt up, and he had two f****** daggers in his belt line.
“I said, ‘Dude, what is that?’ He goes, ‘I got jumped ... I wish a motherf***** would try to fight me in a street fight. ... They’re getting jabbed up.’ Or is a person carrying a gun? Does he have a bat. Like, what is technically is in the realm of a street fight? What is a street fight? So I think that’s a good question for Bradley Martyn to answer, because he asked everybody, ‘You think you can beat me in a street fight?’
“OK. Move forward. So Brendan Schaub says, ‘You can’t beat the elite of the smaller people.’ I truly believe that. I’ve seen Bibiano Fernandes, which is the 135-pound former champ [of ONE Championship], I’ve seen him roll up Tim Boetsch. Tim Boetsch is a big gentleman. I think he was probably like 215 when they grappled, and he rolled him the f*** up, because the technique, and he knows how to move the body.
“So when I heard this ... Brendan messaged me. He goes, ‘Hey, man, I hope it’s OK. I kind of brought you into this debate.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, dude, it’s all good.’ I’ll come down there and grapple him. Like, I have no problem going down there grappling him and showing him what’s up, and he goes, ‘OK. OK. I’m gonna let him know.’”
Johnson has other things to tend to, like the opening of Fernandes’ gym, a grappling competition, and, of course, his family.
“But I would love to go down there and just grapple him,” he said. “It’s no animosity. It’s like, ‘Hey, dude, Demetrious Johnson, Bradley Martyn, [bump fists], let’s go. Come on, show me what you got big man, big muscle man.’ [Imitates Conor McGregor’s voice] ‘What you f****** going to do, mate? You do f****** nothing, mate.’
“Now, everybody and their f****** mom has taken it to a level – ‘Oh, they about to fight!’ If there was an MMA fight, dog, I’m f****** your liver up. I hope you spear-tackle me, because then you just cross all the distance. You’re in my clinch, you’re in my elbows, you’re in my grappling realm. You didn’t see Zhang Weili pick up Francis Ngannou? He’s 293, right? OK. I’m a f****** man, right? And I weigh 150 pounds. You can be 260, and I can still pick you up, because I know how to get underneath my with my hips and look up.
“So what turned to be, it was, and it still might, right? Everybody wants to get their hands on it. My good friend Henry Cejudo saying, ‘Demetrious you get paid, man. It’s all good. You gotta secure the bag brother. ‘You’ve got everyone and their mother trying to get their hands on it. So it’s like, it almost turns into something that was supposed to be fun – now it’s just, like, blown out of proportion. So, we’ll see what happens. I know it’s going to happen. I want it to happen. It’s just finding the right way to navigate it.”
Johnson laughed again at a side-by-side tale of the tape that showed him beside Martyn, who’s a full foot taller and over 100 pound heavier.
As confident as Johnson is, he wouldn’t want people close to him betting on the outcome. As the MMA world has seen, big opponents can do big damage to smaller ones, even if they can’t “win” a contest. Welterweight Gunnar Nelson famously injured himself while training with Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, otherwise known as “The Mountain” from the TV show “Game of Thrones.”
“Anything can happen,” Johnson said. “He could spear-tackle me – I could break my rib. The biggest thing about this whole logistics is proving that just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can beat somebody who’s smaller.”
And that’s why Johnson is open to making this contest happen with Schaub the “middleman” and “kind of the promoter” who will put it on some type of platform for the world to enjoy.
“If I wasn’t a trained athlete then, yeah, he would absolutely destroy me,” the ex-UFC champ said. “But I’ve been spending the last 18 years, 20 years of my f****** life dealing with people who are bigger than me. This is like my realm. I do it every single day of my life. When was the last time he wrestled somebody who was fucking 300 pounds, or 282, 290. He hasn’t. I’ve dealt with this my whole entire life. So when somebody says, ‘I’m bigger than you, I can beat you.’ I’m like, ‘OK, this is, I just dealt with this two days ago. Come on, let’s see what you can do.’”