Johnson Breaks Down Mighty WizBar
This week on The MMA Hour, reigning UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, explained the origins of the submission that propelled his title defense record ahead of every UFC champion to come before him.
“That’s the beautiful thing about mixed martial arts, and I’ll tell people that, you have to think outside of the box,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “And when I pulled out that submission, how I learned it was from (coach) Matt Hume. Me and him were sparring, and he was having a hard time getting me in an armbar or rear-naked choke, so he mixed in a wrestling snap-down. Basically, a suplex to a wrestling snap-down.”
“If anybody has wrestled before, when somebody doesn’t sit out, you snap them down and pin them. He basically did that, mixed it in and threw me between his legs and did an armbar. And I said, after he submitted me, I got up and I go, ‘God bless your soul. Teach me this.’ Then he taught it to me after that class, and I’ve been hitting that submission for years and years.”
“Each time I’m training and sparring, I’m always pushing myself to submit my training partners,” Johnson continued. “And then the week before we went to fight Ray Borg — this turned out to be a 12-week camp — I was sparring and Matt was yelling, he goes, ‘Hit it! Hit it!’ And so I hit it, and Matt goes, ‘Dude, you’ve got to hit that. You’ve mastered it. You’ve been doing it for years.’ He goes, ‘That’s a $50,000 submission right there, DJ. That’s what that is.’ So when it came to the fight, I was like, ‘You know what, I’ve got energy left. Ray Borg is my size, he weighs the same as me. I got this.’ And I, pop, threw him up and landed it, so I’m grateful.”
Johnson was able to unleash the move at UFC 216, in the final minutes of a 25-minute fight, he hoisted opponent Ray Borg into the air, released Borg, then snatched the armbar mid-air to seal his legacy as the winningest champion in Octagon history.
“What I wanted to achieve when I did that move is to open everybody’s mind that it’s mixed martial arts, so even though the submission was a jiu-jitsu move, you can get there by other ways,” Johnson explained.
“In wrestling when I was in high school, my coach said you should be able to hit every single move from any position. So, arm drag to double-leg, snap-down to double-leg. You should be able to hit a move from anywhere, so with my armbar, I can essentially hit it from any position because it’s my favorite submission.”
“I hope everybody around the world enjoyed that submission,” Johnson added, “and I’ve got some stuff in my bag that you guys haven’t seen yet, but I hope to one day be able to pull it out for you guys.”
The “Mighty Wiz-Bar,” as Johnson named his award-winning submission, gave Johnson an undefeated 2017, going 2-0 on the year, and his fourth consecutive year featuring two successful title defenses.
Johnson hopes to keep that streak alive in 2018.
“That’s the plan. Next year, two fights,” Johnson said.