The UFC vet is looking to win second straight in Bellator’s heavyweight division.
Tim Johnson had a rough start to his Bellator career, going 0-2 to begin with his new promotion. That being said, the former UFC heavyweight fought title challenger Cheik Kongo, then ex-champ Vitaly Minakov on less than a day’s notice. One heck of an introduction to any promotion. Finally Johnson got a well-deserved, timely win with a massive knockout victory over soaring prospect Tyrell Fortune last time out.
“It felt great, not even in Bellator, just to get a win, I needed that,” Johnson told Cageside Press ahead of Bellator 243. “My back was against the wall, people were saying I was done but I knew I wasn’t done, I knew I had that in me.”
Johnson steps in to face Bellator fan favorite Matt Mittrione (13-7) at Bellator 243 this Friday. The bout serves as the evening’s co-main event. Mitrione is also a former UFC vet along with Johnson, but the two have never crossed paths previously. Mitrione has been on a bit of a losing skid, but is still a force in the division. A win over Mitrione could put Johnson on a list of top contenders. Including a possible rematch with Kongo.
“I understand the opportunity that is in front of me,” Johnson acknowledged. “They have given me so many opportunities. There are only so many you can be given before they stop. I’m not ready to be a journeyman.”
Johnson has fought some of the top contenders in both the UFC and Bellator. The journeyman title isn’t for him, and he is looking to continue to prove that come Friday night.
“I’d love a rematch with Kongo,” Johnson explained. “The product I put out against him, I wasn’t happy with. Don’t know if I’d win or lose, but I want that fight again for myself, my best version of myself.”
Bellator 243 takes place this Friday, August 7 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The main card airs live on Paramount Network and DAZN.