Tim Johnson thought he was going to headline Bellator 248 this Saturday against Cheick Kongo but wasn’t surprised when the promotion switched up the bout order.
“I assumed by the (Bellator) poster we were main (event)” Johnson told MMANews. “Bellator takes us as the co-main event (instead), I probably don’t have enough fanfare honestly. You know, mine and Cheick’s first fight wasn’t very entertaining for the first go around. So I don’t think a lot of people were like, ‘Jonson-Kongo 2, why should we be excited about that?’ Either way if we’re at the bottom of the card or the main event, you have to show up and fight.”
Johnson (14-6) was knocked out by Kongo in his Belaltor debut back on Oct. 2018. Since the setback, the 35-year-old has gone 2-1 with the promotion, including an impressive first-round TKO victory over Matt Mitrione at Bellator 243 in August.
Kongo meanwhile (30-10-2) hasn’t competed since his ‘No Contest’ against Ryan Bader last September where he was poked in the eye at Bellator 226. The 45-year-old has gone unbeaten in his last nine fights.
The Xtreme Couture product believes with a with over Kongo, a Bellator heavyweight title shot against Ryan Bader could be next. Johnson thinks Bader will likely stay in the heavyweight division now that he lost his light heavyweight championship to Vadim Nemkov.
“I’m pretty sure that Bader will be defending his heavyweight title now,” Johnson said. “He’s a couple of years older than me and Ryan’s a thick guy. I can’t imagine cutting down to 205-pounds is that easy. He poses a lot of problems at heavyweight. He’s a very athletic guy very strong. Even at light heavyweight, he punches just as hard as heavyweight. I think probably for the foreseeable future that Ryan probably will be a heavyweight.”
Bellator 248 takes place Oct. 10 at Accor Arena in Paris, France. Michael Page (17-1) battles Ross Houston (8-0) in the main event.