Fresh from a hugely entertaining yet ultimately unsuccessful bout against Justin Gaethje in July, Michael Johnson will drop a division to featherweight for his next bout.
‘The Menace’ revealed on social media that his next opponent will be Team Alpha Male fighter and the ninth ranked featherweight in on the UFC roster Darren Elkins, a fighter who comes into the bout on the back of a five fight win streak which includes high profile victories against Mirsad Bektic and Dennis Bermudez.
UFC officials have yet to formally announce the bout, though Johnson’s post on Instagram suggests that the announcement will be imminent.
The next fight is on!! And oh is it a great one for many many reasons! THE #1 FIRST EVER hometown fight in #stlouis plus my debut into a new division!! JAN 14th! #fightime #saintlouis #stlouis #teammenace #teammj #MichaelJohnson #ufc#cardinals #blues #budlight #budweiser #scotttradecenter #anheuserbusch #grindtime #titannutrition #homecoming #hometown #home #january #iseestraps
This will be a homecoming bout for Johnson, a native of St. Louis.
Once considered a top contender at lightweight, Johnson has dropped four of last five bouts at 155-pounds, though he has competed against a murderer’s row of lightweight competition. His three most recent defeats have come to Gaethje, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz. His sole victory during that time was a first round knockout of Dustin Poirier in September of last year.
Elkins, meanwhile, is one of the featherweight division’s toughest fighters to put away. He turned in a phenomenal come-from-behind victory against Bektic, winning via stoppage late in the third round after losing the first two rounds heavily on the scorecards.
The UFC St. Louis card will take place on Jan. 14 at Scottrade Center.
The card already includes the following bouts:
- Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
- Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings
- Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
- James Krause vs. Alex White