Report | Michael Johnson gets top-10 opponent for featherweight debut

Michael Johnson

Earlier this year, we learned that long-time UFC lightweight contender Michael Johnson planned to drop down to the stacked UFC featherweight division. In the wake of this news, Johnson publicly derided his new featherweight peers, as he had an extremely difficult time finding a willing dance partner for his divisional debut.

“This is my reaction to my first featherweight choices getting booked,” Johnson said in an Instagram post after his desired opponents Cub Swanson and Jose Aldo were paired with other fighters. “Ain’t no thang, who wants it?”

Luckily, it seems as though Johnson has found an opponent for his featherweight debut, and just as he hoped, that opponent resides in the division’s top-10. According to Raphael Marinho of Combate, Johnson will battle the division’s 9th-ranked fighter in Team Alpha Male’s Darren Elkins. The two are expected to share the cage in St. Louis, MO on January 14.

Johnson has lost his last two fights at lightweight, having been tapped by Khabib Nurmagomedov, and TKO’d in a Fight of the Year contender with Justin Gaethje. His last win occurred in September of 2016, when he turned the lights off on Dustin Poirier in the first round.

Elkins, meanwhile, is on a five-fight streak, highlighted by a decision defeat of Dennis Bermudez, and a Comeback of the Year frontrunner opposite the highly regarded Mirsad Bektic.

Who do you think wins this Michael Johnson versus Darren Elkins fight?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/11/2017.