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Michael Johnson (fighter)

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Michael Johnson
Born Michael Julian Johnson
(1986-06-04) June 4, 1986 (age 30)
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Other names The Menace
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
Division Lightweight
Reach 72.0 in (183 cm)[1]
Style Wrestling, BJJ
Fighting out of Boca Raton, Florida, United States
Team Blackzilians
Wrestling NJCAA Wrestler [2]
Years active 2008–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 28
Wins 18
By knockout 8
By submission 2
By decision 8
Losses 10
By submission 6
By decision 4
Draws 0
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Michael Julian Johnson[3] (born June 4, 1986) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. 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.[4] As of October 2016, he is #6 in the official UFC lightweight rankings.[5]


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Johnson 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.[6] 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."[6] 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.[2][7]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Johnson is a former Midwest Fight League and Xtreme Cage Fighting Champion who won those titles in July 2008 and October 2009 respectively.[8]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

Johnson then signed onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship circuit to appear on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck.[4]

Johnson's entry onto 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.[6] 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.[6]

Johnson's first fight took place on the debut episode of the season, where he faced unbeaten Pablo Garza. Johnson scored a unanimous decision victory, which moved him into the house.[9]

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 which 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.[10]

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 utilise 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.[11]

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.[12] Johnson won by unanimous decision after two rounds, earning himself a spot in the semi-finals.[13]

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.[14]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Johnson made his UFC debut in the 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.[15]

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.[16] 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[17] and won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Johnson faced Paul Sass on October 1, 2011 at UFC on Versus 6.[18] He lost the fight via submission 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 replaced by Shane Roller.[19] Johnson defeated Roller by unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the bout 29-28.

Johnson faced Tony Ferguson on May 5, 2012 at UFC on Fox 3, replacing an injured Thiago Tavares.[20] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Johnson was expected to face Danny Castillo on September 1, 2012 at UFC 151.[21] However, after UFC 151 was cancelled, Johnson/Castillo was rescheduled and took place on October 5, 2012 at UFC on FX 5.[22] 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 fought Myles Jury on December 29, 2012 at UFC 155.[23] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Johnson faced Reza Madadi on April 6, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV 9.[24] Despite almost finishing Madadi with a head kick in the first round, he eventually succumbed to the wrestling of Madadi and lost the fight via submission in the third round.

Johnson faced Joe Lauzon on August 17, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 26.[25] He won the fight via unanimous decision after outstriking Lauzon for all three rounds.

Johnson faced Gleison Tibau on December 28, 2013 at UFC 168.[26] He won the fight in impressive fashion; winning via knockout in the second round.

Due to an injury to Ross Pearson, Johnson stepped in to face Melvin Guillard at UFC Fight Night 37.[27] Johnson won the fight via unanimous decision.

Johnson was expected to face Josh Thomson on July 26, 2014 at UFC on Fox 12.[28][29] However, on July 11, the UFC announced he had been pulled from the bout.[30] It was later revealed that Johnson was pulled from the bout and would not compete during the remainder of 2014 following his arrest regarding a domestic dispute in Palm Beach County, Florida in April 2014.[31]

Johnson faced Edson Barboza on February 22, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 61.[32] He won the bout by unanimous decision.[33]

A bout with Benson Henderson was initially linked as the event headliner for The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale on July 12, 2015.[34] Although never officially announced by the UFC, the bout between Henderson and Johnson will not take place at this event.[35]

Johnson faced Beneil Dariush on August 8, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 73.[36] He lost the fight by split decision.[37] Every mainstream MMA media outlet polled by MMA Decisions scored the fight as decision victory for Johnson.[38]

Johnson faced Nate Diaz on December 19, 2015 at UFC on Fox 17.[39] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.[40] Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors.[41]

A rematch with Tony Ferguson was expected to take place on March 5, 2016 at UFC 196.[42] However, on January 27, it was announced that Johnson withdrew from the bout due to injury.[43]

Johnson faced Dustin Poirier on September 17, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 94.[44] He won the fight via knockout early in the first round with a sharp two-punch combination followed by ground and pound.[45]

Johnson is expected to face Khabib Nurmagomedov on November 12, 2016 at UFC 205.[46]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson trained at Springfield Fight Club, which is an affiliate of Gracie Barra based in Springfield, Missouri. Johnson also worked there as the assistant mixed martial arts coach.[47]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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. Cerrone 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 (inverted 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 Lost The Ultimate Fighter 12 Tournament.
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 lbs) 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[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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 0:37 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Bigfoot vs. Mir". Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Meet the cast for "The Ultimate Fighter 12," field includes 28 lightweights". August 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  6. ^ a b c d "Meet the Ultimate Fighter 12 cast: Michael Johnson, a producer's worst nightmare". September 22, 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "TUF 12: Michael Johnson confirmed as a member of the lightweight tournament". July 27, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Episode no.1 recap: "The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck"". September 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Episode No. 2 recap: "The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck"". September 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Episode No. 3 recap: "The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck"". September 29, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Episode No. 8 recap: "The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck"". November 4, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Michael Johnson and Jonathan Brookins fight for TUF 12 crown on Saturday". December 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Episode No. 11 recap: "The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck"". December 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ "The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale recap: Brookins earns impressive comeback win". December 5, 2010. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Michael Johnson vs. Edward Faaloloto slated for UFC on Versus 4". April 11, 2010. 
  18. ^ Furness, Jay (July 21, 2011). "Paul Sass To Return At UFC On Versus 6; Johnson Likely Adversary". 
  19. ^ "Injured McKenzie out at UFC on FOX 2; Roller steps in to face Johnson". January 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Thiago Tavares out, Tony Ferguson now meets Michael Johnson on UFC on FOX 3". March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Danny Castillo vs Michael Johnson booked for UFC 151 on Sept. 1 in Las Vegas". June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Castillo-Johnson shifts from UFC 151 to UFC on FX 5". August 23, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Lightweight bout between Michael Johnson, Myles Jury headed to UFC 155". October 24, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Michael Johnson vs. Reza Madadi set for UFC on FUEL TV 9". February 8, 2013. 
  25. ^ Staff (2013-05-13). "Joe Lauzon meets Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX Sports 1 1 in Boston". Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  26. ^ "Michael Johnson vs. Gleison Tibau lightweight bout set for UFC 168 in Las Vegas". September 18, 2013. 
  27. ^ "earson Out Of UFC London, Guillard Gets Replacement". January 23, 2014. 
  28. ^ Mike Chiapetta (2014-05-09). "Josh Thomson vs. Michael Johnson set for FOX UFC Saturday on July 26". Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  29. ^ Henderson, Jason (10 May 2014). "Josh Thomson Vs Michael Johnson Goes Down At UFC On FOX 12". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  30. ^ John Morgan (2014-07-11). "Johnson out at UFC on FOX 12, promotion seeks new opponent for Thomson". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  31. ^ Staff (2014-12-29). "UFC reveals 'domestic dispute' to blame for Michael Johnson's extended layoff". Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  32. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (2014-12-28). "Edson Barboza vs. Michael Johnson slated for UFC Fight Night 61". Retrieved 2014-12-28. 
  33. ^ Mookie Alexander (2015-02-22). "UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Mir results - Michael Johnson too much for Edson Barboza to handle". Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  34. ^ Staff (2015-04-20). "Benson Henderson vs. Michael Johnson targeted for TUF 21 Finale on July 12". Retrieved 2015-04-20. 
  35. ^ Ariel Helwani (2015-05-15). "Benson Henderson vs. Michael Johnson off TUF 21 Finale card". Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  36. ^ Staff (2015-06-05). "Michael Johnson vs. Beneil Dariush slated for UFC Fight Night 74 in Nashville". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  37. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2015-08-09). "UFC Fight Night 73 results: Beneil Dariush tops Michael Johnson by split decision". Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  38. ^ Staff (2015-08-08). "Michael Johnson vs. Beneil Dariush". Retrieved 2015-08-08. 
  39. ^ Damon Martin (2015-08-24). "Michael Johnson meets Nate Diaz at FOX UFC Fight Night in Orlando". Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  40. ^ John Morgan (2015-12-19). "UFC on FOX 17 results: Nate Diaz outstrikes Michael Johnson en route to impressive win". Retrieved 2015-12-19. 
  41. ^ Staff (2015-12-19). "UFC on FOX 17 bonuses: Nate Diaz, Michael Johnson cash in for entertaining scrap". Retrieved 2015-12-19. 
  42. ^ Staff (2016-01-21). "Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson rematch added to UFC 197". Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  43. ^ Hunter A. Homistek (2016-01-26). "Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson targeted for April UFC on Fox event". Retrieved 2016-01-27. 
  44. ^ Mike Henken (2016-07-18). "Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Johnson set to headline UFC Hidalgo". Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  45. ^ Raimondi, Marc. "UFC Fight Night 94 results: Michael Johnson knocks out Dustin Poirier, talks crap over his fallen body". Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  46. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2016-09-27). "Lightweights Khabib Nurmagomedov, Michael Johnson confirmed for UFC 205 lineup". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  47. ^ "Spike TV unveils TUF 12 cast". August 3, 2010. 

External links[edit]