Henry Cejudo and Demetrious Johnson’s relationship has taken on a remarkable evolution in recent weeks. The pair were rivals inside the octagon and faced each other in two flyweight title fights.
Johnson is now competing in ONE Championship where he’s gearing up for a second flyweight title shot. Only last year he was talking about how he’d be keen to fight Cejudo if he ever decided to sign for the promotion but the two are now training partners and appear to have become firm friends.
Cejudo has been training Johnson for his fight with Adriano Moraes which will headline ONE 161 next month. The two are working together at Fight Ready in Arizona and the former two division UFC champion shared a video update on Twitter:
Training with @MightyMouse for a couple weeks in PHX was an honor. He's already the most technical fighter in MMA history, but I'm happy I was able to help him take his game to a whole other level.
Full behind-the-scenes from our training camp 🐐🐭: https://t.co/z605XjBA5P pic.twitter.com/o3BU7FBtHA
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 13, 2022
Cejudo shared a video of the two men training together at Fight Ready and stated that,
“Training with Mighty Mouse for a couple weeks was an honor. He’s already the most technical fighter in MMA history, but I’m happy I was able to help him take his game to a whole other level.”
The first time they faced off at UFC 197 Johnson finished the fight in the opening round. In the video Cejudo reflects on that fight as he watches the #1 ranked ONE Championship flyweight sparring,
“Good Sh*t dude. I can see why you took my ass out the first time (we fought). Your knees are vicious DJ. Vicious as f**k.”
Watch the intense highlights of Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo training. Powered by @jimmybars get your fuel on! #jimmybars 🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/sgj1P1WQ1H
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 12, 2022
The respect definitely appears to be mutual with Johnson full of praise for his former foe.
“Training at Fight Ready has been dope. The biggest thing I took away from Henry was to see how good he really is. We’ve fought twice, 1-1, but sometimes when you compete against each other you don’t really get to see how good somebody really is because you’re only sharing 25 minutes.”
While 25 minutes is a long time to spend fighting someone training camps typically last for months. Johnson says he has really benefitted from being able to learn from Cejudo in greater depth,
“To be able to spend two weeks here in Arizona with him, we train two hours a day. Going through simulation, going through his mindset and his style of preparation and when he’s getting ready for an opponent, how he approaches the fight, I’m very grateful he was able to share his knowledge with me.”
Both men are the same age but Cejudo retired two years ago and is a full time coach now. Johnson remains active and will be looking to show he is still at the peak of his powers when he faces Moraes next month.
The former UFC flyweight champion will be hoping the training tips he is getting from a former opponent can help him capture the second major title of his MMA career.