We're also including the Utahns' extended family. We couldn't think of anyone better to play the tough uncle than Ultimate Fighting Championship's DaMarques "Darkness" Johnson.
A grad of Kearns High, DaMarques learned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after joining the army, and later became runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter season nine. He was impressive enough to get a UFC contract and has actually won more fights in the UFC than the television show's winner. Recently, he won via the body triangle submission, only done once before in UFC history. He also took some time away from the octagon to answer some of our questions.
What do you see as the major highlights in your MMA career over the past year or so?
To be honest, I don't view anything I have done as special. There are far more important jobs out there than mine. I fist fight people for a living, much like college grads move on to their careers once they are finished with 16th grade.
If you could go back to any match and do something differently, what match would it be and what would you do differently?
All the missteps and loses are the sandpaper to finishing a polished project (me). I wouldn't go back and change any of the ass whippins I have taken. I always take away more from the lessons of the loss than the victory, but the wins do feel better.
What are your signature moves when you fight?
I can't say that anything is really a signature move with me other than my wiry-monkey, go-for-broke style.
I know you're expertise is Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but what other martial arts do you incorporate?
How do you know that? Has Salt Lake magazine been the guys following me around? Getting into my car and such (his car was broken into recently, and his fighting gear was stolen)? If so, we are gonna have some words. I'm just a guy who fist fights people the best I can, not really deserving of the label "martial artist." Just because you color in coloring books, it doesn't make you Picasso.
What's your current win/loss record in UFC and overall?
(shaking his head) I'm 3-3 officially. However, counting the fights in The Ultimate Fighter house, I'm 6-3 overall.
How'd you get into MMA to start?
I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, because I had watched plenty of fights on pay-per-view and ended up tapping out a bunch of guys I worked with while I was in the ARMY. I also needed a reason to leave my barracks room, 'cause I had no car.
Any opponent you'd really like to fight, but haven't gotten the chance yet?
Personally, I don't care who I fight. It's business. Just like the officer who books people into to jail wouldn't care whose paper work he's processing. Getting punched in the face is still getting punched in the face, whether it's a big-name guy or an up-and-comer. Just like paper work is still just paper work, famous guy or homeless guy.
Where do you live right now?
I currently live in Cottonwood Heights/Midvale area. Why are you stalking the wrong house?
What year did you graduate from Kearns High?
Class of 2000.
Is your family in Utah, and are you in reality a tough uncle?
Yup, my family still lives here in Utah. Tough uncle, eh - I'm more the smart-ass, funny and loving uncle that will bring the pain if you take it to that point and need to be punished. Otherwise, we will have a good time.
Is Utah a good place for an MMA fighter?
Utah is a fantastic place to train, just to get in shape and enjoy the sport with plenty of gyms and events to go to. Should you feel you have what it take to become a professional pugilist, by all means come to Elite Performance in West Jordan.
What upcoming MMA events can we catch you fighting in?
I have nothing on the schedule as of now, and I'm just training right now. Back to that whole sandpaper and polish analogy.
What are you going to do to those losers who broke into your car if you find them?
Well, I know where they live and what kind of car they drive, too. So I'm still milling over the details in my devious little mind.
Anything else you'd like Salt Lake magazine readers to know about you?
Check out damarquesjohnson.com. On there, you will find my blog where I air plenty of crazy thoughts and stories. You can also pick up an "I <3 SLC shirt" and other Darkness shirts that I have designed. I will continue to fight hard, have fun and give you guys something to watch, so stay tuned and support the local kid.
Find out more about DaMarques and the rest of "the Utahns" in our July issue.