Michael Johnson may be coming off an impressive, one sided unanimous decision win over Joe Lauzon, but before that, the TUF 12 finalist had dropped consecutive fights to Myles Jury and Reza Madidi. Those defeats came after Johnson had won three straight fights, which included victories over Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo. So which “Menance” will show up Saturday night to fight Gleison Tibau at UFC 168?
Well, in a recent interview with UFC.com, Johnson admitted that following his wins over Castillo, Ferguson and Shane Roller, he may have let the success go to his head.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Not taking anything away from the two guys I lost to, but I did lose track a little bit. You go on a three fight win streak like that and you start thinking you’re unbeatable, and that was a huge mistake I made that I’ll never make again. Going into the Myles Jury fight, I was like, there’s no way he can beat me. I went in too relaxed and then I lost.
The same thing with Reza. I had a huge adrenalin dump, especially after the tension between us at weigh ins, and going into the second round after a first round in which I almost had him finished, my mind just went away from me. That’s a perfect example that shows how strong you have to be mentally to get through these opponents in the UFC, and I lost track of that.”
Considering that Tibau has been competing in the UFC since 2007, and is one of the promotion’s biggest and most resilient lightweights, chances are Johnson isn’t looking past the ATT fighter. And as far as his goals for 2014? This is what Johnson relayed:
“This next year is my coming out party,” he said. “It’s my year to break into the top ten, really make a name for myself, and really get into title contention and mix things up in the lightweight division.”
It’s an interesting match-up, no question. UFC 168 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.