Michael Johnson doesn’t want to be known as a stepping stone.
Johnson, who is the sixth ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight, will welcome Justin Gaethje to the UFC on July 7 for The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale. Gaethje reigned as the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) lightweight champion before making the jump. “The Highlight” had five successful title defenses.
All eyes will be on how Gaethje deals with someone the caliber of “The Menace.” Don’t expect Johnson to be a pushover, however. During the UFC’s “Summer Kickoff” press conference, Johnson said he’s eyeing lightweight gold and wants to ensure Gaethje doesn’t get in his way (via MMAJunkie.com):
“I’m not a gatekeeper of the UFC, trust me. I’m here to win this title and I’m not here to welcome guys from the C-league in here. But at the same time, yeah, of course I’m going to welcome him into the UFC and it’s not going to be a good night for him. I’ve got two months to get prepared to take somebody’s life in this cage. I’m not trying to beat him up, I’m not trying to win by decision or a point – I’m literally going to try to take this man’s life. And if you’re not ready to die, don’t show up.”