When Michael Johnson told everyone back in September that he was moving down to featherweight, needless to say it was a shock. However, Johnson assured everyone that this was the plan all along. Although, a top 10 lightweight coming down to featherweight is a tough guy to get a fight for. Michael Johnson originally called out Jose Aldo, then Cub Swanson and others with no luck. Finally, he is booked against 10th-ranked featherweight Darren Elkins for next Sunday. According to the man himself, he hasn’t been 145-pounds since he was 13-years old.
“I played football in my freshmen year of college and I was weighing close to 200-pounds there. So, my weight has been fluctuating up and down a lot. The last time I was 145-pounds I was 13. I wrestled 145 during my freshmen year at high school. I’m all in on this weight class and this weight right now. I want to get up to that title and take that title away from Max [Holloway] or Frankie [Edgar] or whoever has it at that point. Then maybe I’ll think about coming back up to 155 to hold two of them, but for now, my focus is on 145-pounds.”
FWIW he looks great! Still very strong at 145. RT @StullySTL: Johnson confirms he’s moving to featherweight for this fight–weight is coming off well. Stoked to be part of the UFC debut in his hometown. Agrees it’s the “true” main event for fans here. #UFCFightNightSTL
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) January 3, 2018
“I’m actually sitting at about 12-pounds over right now. I’m full of energy and I haven’t missed practices. I’ve been in there and going through full practices with no injuries or anything like that. What I’m missing is being a fat kid. That’s it. No practice cuts. I’m very confident I can make the weight and go down. In my last two camps that I’ve done, I’ve dieted down to like 163-pounds, so I feel like if I can get down to 155-pounds before, I should get down to 145-pounds no problem.” — Michael Johnson speaking to MMA NYTT.
It will be interesting to see how the cut goes, but Michael Johnson is confident he can make the weight happy and healthy. His teammate and former two-time Bellator lightweight champion seems to agree. Darren Elkins and Michael Johnson throw down on January 14h at UFC Missouri in the first UFC card of the new year. The only advice we can give Johnson is that if it hits the third round, watch out for the unofficial comeback king Elkins. He’s become infamous for turning the tables on opponents.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/5/18.