Michael Johnson is coming home to fight.
Johnson, a Marquette graduate, will be fighthing Darren Elkins this Sunday (Jan. 14) in UFC Fight Night at the Scottrade Center.
The preliminary bouts begin at 7 p.m. The main events begin at 9 p.m. and will be televised on FS1.
Johnson (18-12) is making his first cut to 145 pounds this week. The former lightweight contender will be in with one of the toughest outs at featherweight in Elkins (24-5).
Elkins, 33, of Portage, Ind., is one the toughest fighters.
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound Johnson, 31, is billed as “The Menace.”
“It just came to me one day,” Johnson said of his nickname. “I wanted something that no one else had. Plus it just fit with my name and attitude.”
Johnson fights as a southpaw. He trains and fights out of Boca Raton, Fla. His style in the ring mixed westling, bxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
In his last fight in the TUF 25 Finale on July 7, 2017, Johnson lost to Justin Gaethje by second round TKO.
Johnson started fighting in 2007.
“I was done with football and wrestling in college and needed the competition,” Johnson said. “I felt like I would be very successful in the sport and loved it.”
The ranks and titles he has held include TUF 12 finalist, XCF ammy title at 155, MID mo ammy
title at 155 and XCF pro title at 155.
“The biggest hero in my life right now is my mother,” Johnson said.
Fighting in the UFC is important to Johnson.
“It means the world to me,” Johnson said. “It’s always been my goal ever since I started and I’m not letting it go to waste. On the other hand, if I can’t entertain the fans and live up to my ability, it wouldn’t mean anything.”
When he ends his career, Johnson said he plans on finishing and earning his college degrees.
Before he started fighting, Johnson was busy.
“I was a full time student and worked full time as a server; somehow I managed to do both while fighting full time as well,” Johnson said.
His favorite grappling technique, he said, is double and single legs.
“I also love the triangle,” Johnson said.
His favorite striking technique is “everything – knees, punches, kicks, and elbows,” Johnson said.