UFC lightweight Michael Johnson was on his way up the contendership ladder last year with consecutive wins over Tony Ferguson, Shane Roller, and Danny Castillo, finally delivering on the promise he’d shown as a member of the Ultimate Fighter 12 cast. However, Johnson came up short against Myles Jury at UFC 155 and once again saw some doubts resurface regarding how high he’ll ultimately rise in his career.
“The Menace” will look to ease fans’ fears next weekend at UFC on Fuel 9 where he’ll meet Reza Madadi on the event’s undercard. In addition to showing his stumble to Jury was a speed-bump rather than an indicator of his future prospects, the 26-year old Johnson also sees it as a chance to make a statement.
“I’m not traveling all the way to Sweden, out of my comfort zone to lose; that’s definitely not an issue. I’m not going over there to put forth a shi**y performance and not do what I’m supposed to do,” said Johnson to the UFC’s website. “I’m going into this fight with a total killer’s mentality. I’m going to go out here and try to finish him as early as possible. I’m not backing up once. I’m going to stay in his face the whole way, and once he gives me an opening, once he slips up, I’m going to end it.”
Though Johnson is confident he’ll live up to his own expectations, he’s not looking past the 12-3 Madadi because he simply can’t afford to.
“I don’t think he’s as skilled as me, but I have something to prove now that I lost to Myles,” admitted Johnson. “I’ve got to make people remember the beginning of last year, and what I did except for the last fight. I have to show people that I am a dominant force in this division, and I’m not going anywhere.”
Johnson holds an overall record of 12-7 with six knockouts.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/MMAWEEKLY