Michael Johnson (fighter)
|Born||Michael Julian Johnson|
June 4, 1986
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)|
|Division||Lightweight (2008–2017, 2019–present)|
|Reach||73+1⁄2 in (187 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Lantana, Florida, United States|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Michael Julian Johnson (born June 4, 1986) is an American professional mixed martial artist. Johnson currently fights in the Lightweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A professional MMA competitor since 2008, Johnson mostly competed in his regional circuit, before signing onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship to appear on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck, in which he was the runner-up. Johnson is known for his formidable boxing and handspeed, and holds victories over the likes of Dustin Poirier, Edson Barboza and Tony Ferguson.
Johnson was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 4, 1986. He was raised as the youngest of three siblings. Johnson began fighting at the age of 10, after his father's fatal heart attack. The incident made Johnson want to exert his anger physically. Johnson later said, "I lost something, a huge part of me....Fighting was my way of not dealing with my dad's passing. Now that I think of it, of course, it was the wrong thing to do, especially putting all that burden on my mom having to deal with it." Athletic, Johnson was a three-sport varsity athlete at Marquette High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. Johnson later received a full scholarship to play football at Central Methodist University, but transferred after one year to Meramec Community College, where he was one of the top NJCAA wrestlers in the country.
Mixed martial arts career
Johnson is a former Midwest Fight League and Xtreme Cage Fighting Champion who won those titles in July 2008 and October 2009, respectively.
The Ultimate Fighter
Johnson's entry into the show was, in part, due to his persistence in attending tryouts for the show. After making the final interview round of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir, Johnson was told that he wasn't the right fit for the show. Johnson then tried out for the ninth season of the show, before finally becoming accepted onto the twelfth season after telling the producers, "I've been getting tired of chasing you [expletive] around the country. I'm here; I'm not going to go anywhere. If you guys don't pick me, I'm going to try out again." Finally, Johnson was signed.
In the second episode, both St-Pierre and Koscheck had Johnson at the top of their lists when it came time to select fighters. During the team selection process, however, St-Pierre created a fake list that did not have Johnson among his top selections and subtly showed it to Koscheck to fool him into believing it. This seemed to manipulate Koscheck into picking Marc Stevens, as he may have believed he could take Johnson later. This allowed St-Pierre to choose Johnson with the second overall pick.
Johnson competed in his preliminary round matchup against Aaron Wilkinson in the third episode. After some early striking exchanges in the first round, Wilkinson was able to take Johnson down and utilize ground-and-pound punches and elbows. In the second round, Johnson landed an early superman punch, as well as a takedown. After takedowns were achieved by both men, Johnson stuffed a final attempt and took the second round on the judges' scorecards. In the sudden victory round, Johnson attacked quickly, which allowed him to end the fight via a rear-naked choke.
In episode 8, Team GSP had to pick which team members would fight each other (considering they had 5 members in the quarter-finals). St. Pierre asked each member to pick the fighter they wanted to fight. Johnson and Alex Caceres picked each other and a fight was scheduled. Johnson won by unanimous decision after two rounds, earning himself a spot in the semi-finals.
In the final round, Johnson faced the one remaining Team Koscheck member, Nam Phan. In a back-and-forth fight, Johnson scored takedowns. The consensus after the fight was that Johnson won the opening round, and Phan the second. The third was in dispute, however, with each fighter's coach convinced they had won the round. Johnson was declared the winner via split decision.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Johnson made his UFC debut in The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale against Jonathan Brookins. That fight determined the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 12. After an impressive first round, Johnson lost rounds two and three — and subsequently the fight — via unanimous decision, leaving him the runner-up.
Johnson was looking to take a fight outside of the UFC before returning to the promotion. The fight was to headline the North American Fighting Championship card against Jim Bleau. However, after obtaining a UFC fight, Johnson pulled out of the NAFC bout to focus his training on the UFC bout. Johnson faced Edward Faaloloto on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4 and won the fight via TKO in the first round.
Johnson was expected to face Cody McKenzie on January 28, 2012, at UFC on Fox 2. However, McKenzie was forced out of the bout with an injury, and he was replaced by Shane Roller. Johnson defeated Roller by unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the bout 29–28.
Johnson was expected to face Danny Castillo on September 1, 2012, at UFC 151. However, after UFC 151 was cancelled, Johnson/Castillo was rescheduled and took place on October 5, 2012, at UFC on FX 5. After almost being finished in the first round, Johnson survived and came back to win via KO at 1:06 into the second round. Johnson was awarded Knockout of the Night honors for his performance.
Johnson faced Reza Madadi on April 6, 2013, at UFC on Fuel TV 9. Despite almost finishing Madadi with a head kick in the first round, Johnson eventually succumbed to the wrestling of Madadi and lost the fight via submission in the third round.
Johnson was expected to face Josh Thomson on July 26, 2014, at UFC on Fox 12. However, on July 11, the UFC announced he had been pulled from the bout. It was later revealed that Johnson was pulled from the bout and would not compete during the remainder of 2014 his arrest in Palm Beach County, Florida in April 2014.
A bout with Benson Henderson was initially linked as the event headliner for The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale on July 12, 2015. Although never officially announced by the UFC, the bout between Henderson and Johnson will not take place at this event.
Johnson faced Beneil Dariush on August 8, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 73. He lost the fight via a controversial split decision. Every mainstream MMA media outlet polled by MMA Decisions scored the fight as decision victory for Johnson.
Johnson faced Dustin Poirier on September 17, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 94. He won the fight via knockout early in the first round with a sharp two-punch combination followed by ground and pound. This win earned Johnson his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Johnson faced former World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje on July 7, 2017, in the main event at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale. Rocking Gaethje twice with punches, Johnson was not able to capitalize and lost the fight via TKO with a combination of punches and knees in the second round. The fight earned Johnson his second Fight of the Night bonus award.
Johnson faced Artem Lobov on October 27, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 138. At weight-ins, Johnson weighed in at 147 pounds, one pounds over the featherweight limit of 146 pounds. As a result, the fight proceeded at a catchweight bout and Johnson was to forfeit 20% of his purse to Lobov, however Lobov refused to take the money. Johnson defeated Lobov by unanimous decision.
Johnson was scheduled to face Evan Dunham on April 25, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic event, Johnson was rescheduled to face Khama Worthy at UFC 249. In turn, the bout was postponed to a future date. However, the event was cancelled. However, on April 9, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed to a future date. Instead Johnson faced Thiago Moisés on May 13, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira. After outstriking Moisés in the first round, he lost the fight via submission less than thirty seconds into the second round.
On April 9, 2014, Johnson was arrested in Palm Beach County, Florida following a domestic dispute. He was charged with a simple misdemeanor battery and later released on bail. The charges were dropped at a later date.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Xtreme Cage Fighting
- XCF Lightweight Championship (One time)
- Midwest Fight League
- MFL Lightweight Championship (One time)
- Bleacher Report
- CBS Sports
- Bloody Elbow
- Cageside Press
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|36 matches||19 wins||17 losses|
|Loss||19–17||Clay Guida||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov||February 6, 2021||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||19–16||Thiago Moisés||Submission (achilles lock)||UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira||May 13, 2020||2||0:25||Jacksonville, Florida, United States|
|Loss||19–15||Stevie Ray||Decision (majority)||UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Askren||October 26, 2019||3||5:00||Kallang, Singapore||Return to Lightweight.|
|Loss||19–14||Josh Emmett||KO (punch)||UFC on ESPN: Barboza vs. Gaethje||March 30, 2019||3||4:14||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||19–13||Artem Lobov||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Volkan vs. Smith||October 27, 2018||3||5:00||Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada||Catchweight (147 lb) bout; Johnson missed weight.|
|Win||18–13||Andre Fili||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Gaethje vs. Vick||August 25, 2018||3||5:00||Lincoln, Nebraska, United States|
|Loss||17–13||Darren Elkins||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi||January 14, 2018||2||2:22||St. Louis, Missouri, United States||Featherweight debut.|
|Loss||17–12||Justin Gaethje||TKO (punches and knees)||The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale||July 7, 2017||2||4:48||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||17–11||Khabib Nurmagomedov||Submission (kimura)||UFC 205||November 12, 2016||3||2:31||New York City, New York, United States|
|Win||17–10||Dustin Poirier||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Johnson||September 17, 2016||1||1:35||Hidalgo, Texas, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||16–10||Nate Diaz||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cowboy 2||December 19, 2015||3||5:00||Orlando, Florida, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||16–9||Beneil Dariush||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Saint Preux||August 8, 2015||3||5:00||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||16–8||Edson Barboza||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Mir||February 22, 2015||3||5:00||Porto Alegre, Brazil|
|Win||15–8||Melvin Guillard||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa||March 8, 2014||3||5:00||London, England|
|Win||14–8||Gleison Tibau||KO (punches)||UFC 168||December 28, 2013||2||1:32||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||13–8||Joe Lauzon||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen||August 17, 2013||3||5:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||12–8||Reza Madadi||Submission (D'Arce choke)||UFC on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs. Latifi||April 6, 2013||3||1:33||Stockholm, Sweden|
|Loss||12–7||Myles Jury||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 155||December 29, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||12–6||Danny Castillo||KO (punches)||UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot||October 5, 2012||2||1:06||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||11–6||Tony Ferguson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller||May 5, 2012||3||5:00||East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||10–6||Shane Roller||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis||January 28, 2012||3||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Loss||9–6||Paul Sass||Submission (heel hook)||UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson||October 1, 2011||1||3:00||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Win||9–5||Edward Faaloloto||TKO (punches)||UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry||June 26, 2011||1||4:42||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Loss||8–5||Jonathan Brookins||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale||December 4, 2010||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||The Ultimate Fighter 12 Lightweight Tournament Final.|
|Win||8–4||Chris McDaniel||TKO (punches)||FM: Productions||January 30, 2010||1||4:34||Springfield, Missouri, United States|
|Win||7–4||Ramiro Hernandez||Decision (unanimous)||Titan Fighting Championship 15||December 18, 2009||3||5:00||Kansas City, Kansas, United States||Catchweight (150 lb) bout.|
|Win||6–4||Aaron Derrow||TKO (punches)||Xtreme Cage Fighter 10||October 3, 2009||1||0:43||Springfield, Missouri, United States||Won the XCF Lightweight Championship.|
|Loss||5–4||Eric Marriott||Submission (heel hook)||FM: Productions||May 9, 2009||2||1:32||Springfield, Missouri, United States|
|Win||5–3||Clay French||Submission (kimura)||Fuel Fight Club||April 10, 2009||1||3:16||Lake Ozark, Missouri, United States|
|Loss||4–3||Joe Brammer||Submission (guillotine choke)||Midwest Cage Championships 19||March 14, 2009||4||3:45||Des Moines, Iowa, United States|
|Loss||4–2||James Krause||Submission (triangle choke)||FM: Productions||November 22, 2008||1||2:55||Springfield, Missouri, United States|
|Win||4–1||Warren Stewart||TKO (punches)||FM: Productions||September 13, 2008||1||2:37||Springfield, Missouri, United States|
|Win||3–1||Lucas Gwaltney||Decision (majority)||Midwest Fight League||July 25, 2008||3||5:00||Columbia, Missouri, United States||Won the MFL Lightweight Championship|
|Loss||2–1||Ted Worthington||Submission (triangle choke)||MCC 13: Contenders||April 25, 2008||3||1:29||Urbandale, Iowa, United States|
|Win||2–0||Steve Schneider||Submission (choke)||FM: Productions||April 18, 2008||1||2:12||Springfield, Missouri, United States|
|Win||1–0||Chauncey Prather||TKO (punches)||FM: Productions||February 1, 2008||1||1:12||Springfield, Missouri, United States|
Mixed martial arts exhibition record
|Exhibition record breakdown|
|4 matches||4 wins||0 losses|
|Win||4–0||Nam Phan||Decision (split)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck||December 1, 2010 (airdate)||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Semi-finals.|
|Win||3–0||Alex Caceres||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck||November 17, 2010 (airdate)||2||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Quarter-finals.|
|Win||2–0||Aaron Wilkinson||Submission (rear-naked choke)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck||September 29, 2010 (airdate)||3||0:39||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Preliminary bout.|
|Win||1–0||Pablo Garza||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck||September 15, 2010 (airdate)||2||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||TUF house entry bout.|
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