Tim Johnson says it is still surreal to think he is fighting Fedor Emelianenko in Russia, in what could be the Russian’s final fight.
When Bellator announced Emelianenko would be fighting back home in Russia, many thought he would be fighting a fellow legend. Yet, that wasn’t the case as instead, he will be fighting Johnson at Bellator 269, who has a theory as to why Emelianenko picked him.
“There are two ways to look at it. Fedor had a bunch of names in front of him and he picked me and a lot of people think he picked me because it will be an easy win for him,” Johnson said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I’m on the part where I think he got 25 minutes of watching me, he knows I’m there to fight and there to scrap and he wants that type of fight and that’s why he picked me. Fedor is a warrior, he wants to come home with his shield or on his shield, he wants to go out there and have a war.”
During training camp, Johnson’s team has made it clear they need to finish Emelianenko. They highly doubt they will win a decision in Russia, but Johnson is well aware that finishing the MMA legend is easier said than done. However, for the American, he’s eager just to go to Russia and fight a Russian there.
“It’s kind of a running joke with my team that if I don’t win by submission or knockout I’m probably not going to win. Being in Russia, I’m probably not winning a decision in Russia,” Johnson said. “It is two birds with one stone for me, since I was a kid, the one country I wanted to visit was Russia and now I get paid to go and fight in Russia.”
Entering the scrap at Bellator 269, Tim Johnson expects the fight to be a war. He knows Fedor Emelianenko will be looking to end his career with a bang so he thinks the fight will end by knockout.
“I’m just going with the mentality of he’s going to knock me out, or I’m going to knock him out. I don’t want to be in there for 15 minutes or try and run and outpoint, or tire him out,” Johnson said. “I want to go put on a fight, if I lose, I lose, I still have plenty of opportunities in front of me. I’m going to leave it all out in the cage like he is. This is his retirement fight and he’s going to come out with everything he has, he’s going to want to go out with a win.”
If Johnson does get the stoppage win over Emelianenko, he knows it will be a massive win for his legacy. He also thinks it will set him up for a number one contender bout.
“A win over Fedor puts me in line for a number one contender fight. I’m in no way looking past Fedor but you have to have a grand plan to plan stuff out,” Johnson said. “Maybe me and Cheick 3 fight and we fight the winner of Bader vs. Modavsky. Or maybe I rematch Minakov in February.”
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