With just days to go until UFC 205, the UFC’s historical inaugural event in New York, which will be hosted at the Madison Square Garden, the anticipation among fans for the card is at an all-time high.
While the card will play host to three title fights, fans have continued to talk about the preliminary card fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Michael Johnson, where Nurmagomedov could potentially continue his unbeaten streak and secure himself a lightweight title shot. On the other hand, for Johnson, the fight very well could aid him in cracking the lightweight top 5 should he beat the #2 ranked Nurmagomedov.
Ahead of the fight, Johnson spoke to MMAJunkie to discuss the fight, and his thoughts on being the underdog going into the fight:
“It seems like that’s the trend – it seems like no matter what I do, people are going to pick the other guy or overlook me,” Johnson told MMAjunkie today at a media day at Madison Square Garden. “I’ve come to terms with it now. I’m fine with it. It’s been like that my whole career, and I hope it continues that way.”
“I’m here to (expletive) up everyone’s plans – I’ll tell you that right now,” he said. “I’ll throw a huge wrench in it. Me beating him puts me at the top of the list. I have a win over (Tony) Ferguson. I have a win over Edson (Barboza). It puts me at the top of the list to be next in line for that title shot, and if not, then I’ll continue to train and I’ll continue to fight.”
Johnson went on to point out while Nurmagomedov is 24-0 in his professional career, and has a 7-0 record inside the Octagon with a win over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, he also was sidelined for two years as he dealt with injuries, only returning to the Octagon back in April where he defeated Darrel Horcher via TKO.
“Who’d he beat to fight for the title?” Johnson asked. “Everybody says this guy should fight for the title, he’s undefeated, he’s done that … he’s fought, what? Seven times in the UFC – he’s beaten one good person, and that’s (Rafael) dos Anjos. Everyone else has been trash, really. I think he’s getting too much credit and he doesn’t deserve it. He needs to beat better guys and be more active, and then he might get his title shot. But after Saturday, he’s going to be far away from one.
“Dos Anjos was a big test, but I don’t dos Anjos was as good as he is now when he fought him. But I think I’m his biggest test to date and his biggest competition for sure.”