When Michael Johnson competed on the 12th season of the “Ultimate Fighter” reality TV series, there wasn’t really anything special about him besides his wrestling. To his credit, Johnson was resilient throughout the show, and he fought his way to the season finale, where he ended up losing a decision to Jonathan Brookins.
After losing to Brookins, Johnson went 1-1 in his next two fights in the UFC, and he still looked a lot like the one dimensional wrestler who competed on the show.
However, Johnson — who initially trained with Greg Jackson’s camp — decided to switch training camps, joining JACO Hybrid Training Center (Blackzilians). The move immediately paid dividends for “The Menace.”
Johnson looked like a completely different fighter during his “UFC on Fox 2” encounter against Shane Roller, and he followed that up with an imposing performance against Tony Ferguson. He’s made many improvements in the striking department, and he’s no longer the one-dimensional fighter who competed on the Ultimate Fighter.
“It was probably the best decision of my life,” Johnson said during a conversation with MMAjunkie.com Radio. “I’m not saying Greg Jackson’s is not a great camp, because it is, but I don’t think I would be at the level I am if I had stayed down in Albuquerque as opposed to being here.”
Michael Johnson is currently set to face Danny Castillo at “UFC on FX 5,” I expect him to put on another impressive performance. He’s grown a lot since his UFC debut, and he does have the potential to be a contender in the lightweight division.
“Nothing really impresses me with him [Castillo],” Johnson said. “He’s just a grinder. He takes people down and holds them for decisions. That’s what I’ve gotten from watching his fights. But it’s kind of hard to impress me with anything. He’s just another wrestler that I’ve got to face.”
Steven Marrocco, “UFC on FX 5’s Michael Johnson: Move from New Mexico to Florida…”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.