Tim Johnson believes he has his confidence back.
After going 4-3 in the UFC, Johnson signed with Bellator and in his debut fought Cheick Kongo. It was a big fight for him, and unfortunately, did not go his way as he suffered a knockout loss in just 68 seconds.
Following that, he stepped up on the day of the event to fight Vitaly Minakov and lost by knockout again. Yet, he has since rallied with back-to-back knockout wins over Tyrell Fortune and Matt Mitrione.
Against Mitrione, Johnson got the former UFC fighter to the ground and earned a ground and pound TKO. The problem though was on the broadcast it looked like an accidental headbutt caused the takedown. For Johnson, he says the headbutt did nothing.
“I knew getting Matt to the ground was going to get me the win,” Johnson said to BJPENN.com. “Of course, the knockout over Tyrell Fortune was nice but Matt is definitely a much more experienced and a better striker so I couldn’t stand with him.
“The only reason people are making it a big deal is because the commentators are talking about it,” Johnson added. “Rewatching the fight, my hips hit his, them our shoulders touched which caused the backward motion and then the head hit. It was a love tap. He was mad that the fight got stopped not the headbutt, he didn’t even know about it.”
Although Johnson is 35-years-old and made his professional debut in 2010, he believes he is just getting into his groove now.
“I’ve been fighting for 10 years but really only training for six. My first four years all I would do is wrestle people,” he explained. “So, I’ve really only trained for six or seven years and I think I am finding out who I am as a fighter and I have the confidence and grit back in me.”
Following the win over Mitrione, Johnson is hoping to make a quick turnaround. He believes if he gets the rematch with Kongo and gets his hand raised he is confident he will get a title shot.
“I want September 11. I’m already thinking I’m in a training camp. Basically, anyone who is ahead of me. So, maybe it is. Linton Vassell, or the rematch with Cheick Kongo. The perfect world I would like to rematch Cheick again. Maybe the outcome is the same, I just want it back after the embarrassing performance I had the first time,” Johnson concluded.
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