Michael Johnson - Achievements of an underrated fighter

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
Nikhil Chauhan

It was after a win over Michael Johnson when Nate Diaz addressed Conor McGregor in a historic call-out, which gave way to one of the most intense post-match Octagon interviews. At that time, Michael Johnson was fresh off a controversial split decision loss to Beneil Dariush, which had snapped his four-fight win-streak inside UFC.

In all capacities, Johnson competed inside the cage four times between August 2013 and February 2015, with notable victories over Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, Melvin Guillard, and Edson Barboza. Since then, Johnson has competed against some of the best fighters in the UFC.

It is the inconsistency in his performances that has barred him from ever coming close to the Lightweight gold.

However, one cannot outright ignore his incredible performances inside the Octagon. Johnson has always been a fighter ready to take on any challenge, and it is evident from his fight resume, which features some of the best fighters in the history of the Lightweight division.

Michael Johnson is the only fighter to beat Tony Ferguson till now inside UFC

Michael Johnson vs Tony Ferguson
Michael Johnson vs Tony Ferguson

Michael Johnson is the only fighter in UFC history to hand the interim Champion, Tony Ferguson, a loss inside the UFC octagon. While the record is subject to change depending on the outcome of UFC 249, it remains as a distinguished achievement for Michael Johnson. Additionally, Johnson also holds a KO win over former interim Champion Dustin Poirier. The loss marked Poirier's second defeat inside the UFC Octagon since losing to Conor McGregor, with his most recent loss coming against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. In the process, at that time, Johnson snapped Poirier off a four-fight win-streak, when he KO'd the former Champion in the first round of the fight.

While one can settle the argument by calling it a fluke, Johnson has always put up incredible performance inside the Octagon. It is evident how much UFC acknowledges the caliber and the quality fighting that Johnson brings inside the cage. He not only took on Khabib Nurmagomedov, who returned after a two-year lay-off in the stylistically mismatched bout but was also the first fighter UFC deemed fit to welcome Justin Gaethje for his UFC debut.

Johnson will go down as one of the most impactful fighter in the division

Michael Johnson vs Justin Gaethje
Michael Johnson vs Justin Gaethje

Yes, the win-loss ratio might not say much about Michael Johnson, but if one looks at the quality of the fighters that he has squared off with inside the Octagon, and the incredible victories he has to his name, he stands out as one of the best of his time. And if not for him, Tony Ferguson would have been enjoying a 16-fight win streak, more than any fighter in the Lightweight division.

Michael Johnson will go down in history as a fighter who has not only competed 22 times for the biggest MMA promotion in the world but has had incredible bouts with some of the best that UFC had to offer. The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 finalist will go down as one of the best in the eyes of many fight fans around the world.

Edited by Anirban Banerjee


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