Mixed martial arts fighter Michael Johnson has fallen short in one of the most controversial fights this year. Even though he lost the fight with contender Beneil Dariush, he made it clear that he didn’t want a rematch with him, but he does want to have the opportunity fight again as soon as possible.
In a recent interview, Johnson shared his thoughts about the recent fight. “I can’t get the fight back. I don’t know if they’ll turn it into a win. That’s not a huge concern of mine. A big concern of mine right now is moving forward – hoping I get a big fight and can redeem myself and get right back on the same page,” he said.
Beneil Dariush, who has a record of 12-1 MMA and 6-1 UFC, and Michael Johnson (16-9 MMA, 8-5 UFC) met in a bout that was billed as the co-feature in the UFC’s Fight Night 73 last August 8. During the first two rounds of the fight, if not until the third round, Johnson looked like he was going to go home a winner. However, when the judges handed in their decision on who emerged as the winner, they chose Dariush instead.
Johnson was really shocked by the judges’ decision. Even the fans and the media were rooting for him to win. But even before Bruce Buffer, the UFC emcee for the night, announced the official result of the fight, Johnson knew that the decision didn’t side on him.
“I’m pretty aware of everything when I’m in the cage. I was looking at Bruce Buffer’s face, and I was looking at Herb Dean, and they were reading the cards, and their facial expressions just said it all to me because obviously everybody thought I won the fight, and I could see it in their face. I think Bruce Buffer was a little confused at what he was reading on the card. I think that he double-checked with the judges. … I don’t know if people could hear me, but I was like, ‘Wow. They gave it to him. They gave him a split decision.’,” Johnson said as he tried to recall what took place in the octagon.
“I was extremely upset about it, but I definitely saw it before it happened. Then I was like, ‘Maybe I’m reading it wrong. Maybe they’ll give it to me, anyway.’ Then they said his name, and after that, (Dariush) was more surprised than I was. You can see his face in every picture when he’s getting his hand raised,” he further added.
Johnson was really upset as he left the cage, but he was able to compose himself before facing the press during the post-fight conference held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. He said that he was definitely not happy with the decision made, but it made him realize that there was no point in complaining.
“You do have to be professional. You can’t go out there and look like a fool and bash the promotion or keep bashing the judges. Everybody knew what happened. I wasn’t going to help the situation by going out there and popping off and acting like an immature little kid.”
“It is what it is, so I’ve just got to get back to work and make sure that never happens again,” he admitted during the post-fight conference.
During the MMA post-fight conference, he also shared what he felt when he lost the fight.
“All my plans just got set back because of judges that don’t have knowledge of the sport. We should feel comfortable in knowing these judges will get it right. Nothing went on with these judges lives. My life just took a 180, and I just lost my four-winning streak. I just lost a little bit of momentum, and now I’ve got to play a little bit of catch-up and hope the UFC makes the right decision.”
“I’d fight next week if I need to. Remember, I only got half of my money that I was supposed to. That’s a big concern, as well, for me right now. I’m still in shape. I can turn around and fight next week. I just need to fight and get back in there and show people that I’m a threat in this division, and I shouldn’t be getting robbed like that.”