UFC Lincoln’s Michael Johnson Knows He Needs An Even Better Performance Next Time Out

Michael Johnson bought himself a little bit of breathing room at UFC Lincoln, but he knows there’s still more hard work to come.

Lincoln, NB — It’s safe to say Michael Johnson was feeling the pressure heading into UFC Lincon on Saturday night. Booked in the co-main event against Andre Fili, it was a high profile fight for an athlete who had suffered some high profile losses of late. Sure, Johnson had been fighting the best in the lightweight division, including Nate Diaz, Justin Gaethje, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Yet he was losing, and worse, a drop down to featherweight earlier this year resulted in another loss.

Johnson was in trouble. But Saturday at UFC Fight Night 135, the win was there. A close split decision, but a win nonetheless, against a tough opponent.

The work isn’t over, however. Johnson recognizes that. “It feels great, you know what I mean,” he said, “but at the same time, I had all the bricks on my chest, and getting a win like that just pushed it a little bit off. Just a little bit. We’re still in this corner, and we still gotta follow that win up with an even better performance.”

That means getting back to his coaches, getting back to training, and correcting some of the small mistakes he felt he made in the fight.

Still, “a little relief” is what he’s feeling after Saturday night.

The key to the win? Getting back to his feet when Fili had him down in the second, “fighting out of those bad positions, keeping my feet moving, you know he got me to the ground but I was able to reverse him, and keep the fight going and standing.”

Moving forward, Johnson is now looking for a top competitor. And 145lbs is where he’ll stay “for now,” he told Cageside Press.

“We’re definitely going to do another one at 145. I felt really good,” he said. “The weight cut went very smooth. I put on some extra pounds going in there.”

“The big thing for me is, if I could have kept moving, and stayed focused, and kept my strength through fifteen minutes,” he continued. “So I’m glad me and Andre Fili put on a full three round fight. I know what my body can go through now after cutting that weight. The rest is history, I’m ready to make my full run again.”

Check out the full UFC Lincoln post-fight press scrum with Michael Johnson above!