Demetrius Johnson has been referred to as one in all, if not the biggest, pound-for-pound combined martial arts champions of all time. Last week, he re-captured the ONE Flyweight Championship in Singapore in a combat reside streamed on Amazon Prime Video — in yet one more large sports activities partnership for the tech big.
When he’s not preventing, Johnson is battling Online as a well-regarded gamer on the Twitch streaming platform.
Both pursuits have netted Johnson, of Parkland, Wash., a big and loyal following. And his repute has additionally attracted curiosity from Seattle-area tech corporations who wish to get in the ring with the man referred to as Mighty Mouse.
“Tech is the future,” Johnson instructed GeekWire. “They’re always looking to solve problems, always looking to create new things that make life easier.”
Johnson serves on an advisory board for Bellevue, Wash.-based Zeacon. The 4-year-old startup pivoted throughout the pandemic and now offers a platform to create interactive movies on a decentralized community to Help creators and manufacturers interact and monetize audiences.
Zeacon founder and CEO Kris Naidu mentioned Johnson is well-versed in tech and gaming, with 10 years of expertise creating video content material.
“He is an expert in the live-streaming world and knows exactly what other content creators want in a video platform,” Naidu mentioned. “DJ has been providing invaluable feedback on different aspects of the Zeacon platform.”
Redmond, Wash.-based Portable Consultants views Johnson the similar means.
Johnson is an investor in the younger enterprise startup, which offers companies with information and voice companies. Founder and CEO Rick Crabbe obtained to know him whereas coaching at the similar MMA gymnasium. He referred to as Johnson one in all the most disciplined and humble individuals he’s ever met.
“What attracted us to DJ is his character and public image,” Crabbe mentioned. “What company couldn’t learn a few things from someone like that? We believe that having DJ as an investor helps validate our commitment as a company to be the best at what we do, while carrying ourselves with integrity.”
We caught up with Johnson to speak about how he obtained into MMA, his love for gaming and streaming and extra. Our Q&A has been edited for size and readability.
GeekWire: We rejoice geeks of all persuasions and we use geek as an endearing time period. Is it OK to name an MMA fighter a geek?
Demetrius Johnson: “Absolutely. I call myself a nerd. My wife calls me a nerd. You can call me a nerd, geek, whatever word you want to use.”
What’s your background / connection to Washington state?
“I was born in Kentucky and my mom’s last husband was stationed in Fort Lewis, so that’s when we got home-based in Parkland. From second grade all the way until now, I’ve been down south — Tacoma, Parkland, Puyallup area. I just never seem to want to move away to a different state and I’ve never wanted to move out of the south. Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, it’s all gorgeous up there, but it’s way too f***ing expensive for the house you get.”
When did you get into your sport?
“I did multiple sports growing up — basketball, wrestling, track, cross country — and the sport that got me into mixed martial arts was wrestling. I love how it was just 1 v 1, somebody your size and nothing nobody else can do. If you lose you go back home, you look at yourself in the mirror and the only person you have to blame is yourself. When I got out of high school, there was nothing else for me to do sports wise. I saw ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ I saw Rashad Evans working a bag, hitting it, and the next thing you know I just went to the gym, started hitting the bag and Reese Andy saw me and he goes, ‘Hey, you want to learn how to fight?’ and I was like, ‘Sure, why not.’ The rest is history. That’s how I fell into it.”
Do you employ tech in any means to enhance your combat sport?
“I have a thing called the Oura Ring. I love it because it tracks my sleep and it lets me know how much sleep I’m getting. It tells me when is the best time for me to go to sleep and I try to hit that mark as close as possible. It also counts how many calories I burned in a day and keeps track of my workouts.”
You’re an enormous Twitch streamer. Tell us about your curiosity in gaming.
“Twitch is one thing I like to do. It’s one other means for me to attach with the followers on a distinct degree. I don’t assume I’ll do it as a full-time profession as a result of that’s simply means an excessive amount of work and the pay is up and down. My favourite sport was the ‘Mega Man X’ collection. That’s what really obtained me into streaming on Twitch. Now I play a little bit bit every part — first-person shooters, RPGs RTSs.
“There’s a game I’ve been playing a lot called ‘The Cycle: Frontier.’ They have a brand new wipe coming out — they wipe everybody’s stash and anything they’ve collected over the last three months and everybody starts fresh. It goes live Sept. 28.”
Is there something from gaming that you simply take to the ring?
“Just distance. That’s the biggest one. There’s a fighting game called ‘Street Fighter V’ and there’s frames and distance that you have to control — you’ve got to put your character in the right spot.”
What’s subsequent for you in your profession and in tech?
“I’m gonna get healthy, get back in the gym, continue to learn and get ready for whatever’s next in the mixed martial arts world. As far as investing, I like to take my time to see what arises. I think the next front is the health and wellness sector. We’ll see if I have any other opportunities over time to invest in other tech companies.”