Michael Johnson will be competing at featherweight for the second time in his career when he takes on Andre “Touchy” Fili this Saturday at UFC Lincoln. Johnson loss that debut to Darren Elkins in January by submission in the second round, which marks the third consecutive loss for Johnson. That’s not all. Michael Johnson has also lost five of his last six fights. Granted, the losses have come to names like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje, Nate Diaz, and two other ranked opponents at the time (Darren Elkins, Beneil Dariush), but the prospect of four straight losses and losing six of his last even has Johnson feeling the pressure ahead of his fight this weekend:
“You know, [this fight] is a lot bigger than [getting in the title picture],” Johnson said on the Down Goes Frazier podcast to host Jason Frazier. “I need this win for myself. I need this win for my career. I really don’t care about records.
“I know that I am at that (elite) level right now; I just had a couple bumps. But this win is not gonna be for me to throw my hat in for a title, and it’s pretty much to save my career and get my back out of this corner.”
The pressure is not felt externally, Michael Johnson insists, but is rather self-inflicted…and he welcomes it.
“It’s me putting [the pressure] on myself. That’s where my pressure comes from is myself. I don’t listen to anybody on the outside or their opinions, whether it be if I’m bad, whether it be if I’m good. I just kind of leave those opinions alone and not let them resonate in me because they’ll create false thoughts and what not.
The pressure is coming from myself. I like it. I like the pressure right now.”
UFC Lincoln takes place Saturday, August 25th from the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Do you believe Michael Johnson’s UFC career is in jeopardy with a loss to Andre Fili on Saturday?