One day before the interview with Johnson, an article circled the internet about how a fighter named Spencer Fisher. Fischer has struggled with his post-fighting career, specifically the damage that CTE has done to his everyday life. Since then, there has been an ongoing conversation about the health and safety concerns in fighting and how fighters can avoid the long term effects of CTE. Fans heard Max Holloway talk about his reduced sparring leading up to his fight with Calvin Katter. Fans also voiced concerns about Kattar’s health following that bout, as he ate more shots than any other fight in the history of the sport. Dana White was heard voicing similar concerns as well.
ONE37pm: Demetrious you reached an outrageous level of success that few other athletes are able to tackle. And that's when the conversation becomes, ‘can anyone beat this person. He is so good it is boring.’ When you hear ‘he is so good, it is boring” what does that mean to you?
Johnson: “It doesn’t mean anything to me. I just read an article, have you ever heard of the athlete Spencer Fisher?”
ONE37pm: I was going to ask you about this exact article.
Johnson: “At the end of the day, Spencer Fisher was a great athlete. I watched him fight growing up. I actually trained with him… and you look at that. And he went out there and he competed and he did well. And he was in some wars. For me, I don’t want wars. I want to go out there and do my best to stay above the competition and not take damage when I’m competing. At the end of the day, I'm going to retire. I am not going to be fighting for the rest of my life and when I’m done I don’t want CTE, I don’t want concussions… I want to be able to read a book, obtain that knowledge and apply (it)... When people say I’m boring, it’s not my fault. I’m not going to bang and give you blood, what you want… If you want to see some craziness, take your ass to the bar, have five beers, tell the guy next to you that he’s a bitch and you can have at it.”
ONE37pm: I joined the local boxing gym a few weeks ago and just started sparring. Knowing that you are so conscious and aware of the damage you take, how safe am I doing that?
Johnson: “You are safe. Obviously go with people that are the same level as you and respect where you are at. I’ve been training for 14 years. I’ve never been knocked out, never had a concussion from training. I don’t even wear headgear in the gym and that because we know what we are doing… It’s not about having these wars… Let’s make sure I’m ready that my tools are sharp. So especially because you are not a professional athlete, you are totally safe.”