Former UFC bantamweight Brett Johns left his old home on a two-fight win streak, only to stumble out of the gate in his promotional debut for Bellator MMA last year.
Things looked very different at Bellator 275 on Friday, with Johns (18-3) bouncing back care of a third-round TKO win against Khurshed Kakhorov.
Getting that win, and making it a statement, “I think it’s important for me,” Johns told media outlets following the fight. “At the end of the day, look, I’m not one to stand here and make excuses. But the last time just didn’t feel right, I guess you could say. I lost to the better guy on the night, I’m not denying that, but one thing I will say, I think the change of opponent six days out with a change of style, it wasn’t in my favor.”
After a tough year in 2021, the Welsh standout said Friday that “I wanted to start this year off with a bang. I’ve got a lot of things [riding] on this year. Like I said, I want to get back to my winning ways. Tonight I did it, and I’m just happy to get the stoppage as well.”
Moving forward, Johns is hoping to lead the charge for a Bellator card in Wales. The promotion has made frequent visits to England and Ireland, but the company has yet to set foot in Johns’ homeland.
“My only job was to leave here with a win, and there was one more. We’ve had major organizations come to Ireland, come to Northern Ireland, come to Scotland, come to England, but little old Wales is still waiting for that big event. And I think Bellator can do that,” Johns exclaimed. “Now we’ve got the guys for the job. We’ve got the boys there that can do that job. We want to bring her over to Wales. I’ve had to bring a ferry full of people over the little river between Wales and Ireland. I want that show, and I’ve pleaded to Scott Coker, let’s have a Bellator Wales, let’s do it!”
Watch the full Bellator 275 post-fight press scrum with Brett Johns above.