Brett Johns is confident ahead of Bellator 275, despite battling multiple illnesses during an eight-week-long fight camp.
The Welsh product contracted COVID-19 virus during week one of training and then suffered from a staph infection during week two. This left Johns with six weeks of training camp before facing Khurshed Kakhorov at Bellator 275 this Friday, Feb. 25.
“If I felt like I wasn’t ready, I wouldn’t be standing here and I would have changed the dates,” Johns said during the Bellator 275 pre-fight press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 23.
“In theory this should have really been a bad camp, but it hasn’t been, it’s been a good camp.”
Brett Johns wants shorter fight camps
Johns is a fan of shorter camps these days. The 30-year-old cut his training in half after coming off back-to-back 16-week-long camps.
He finished 1-1 during that span, including a unanimous decision loss to Pat Sabatello in his Bellator debut last May.
Entering the camp later allows the former UFC fighter to come into the fight a little heavier. According to Johns, he is lighter two days before his bout than he previously would be at this point during fight week.
He feels refreshed after being used to being on weight longer during his camps.
“We’re working on things,” Johns said. “I’m a fighter who always trains and never takes much time off from the gym, so I feel like we’ve found a little bit of a niche there with the amount of weeks I train in camp.”
Righting a wrong is of the utmost importance to Johns leading into Friday. He is still eyeing his first victory under the Bellator banner after having his promotional debut spoiled.
The Wales native was slated to fight Brazilian striker Matheus Mattos, but Mattos withdrew due to a positive COVID-19 test. He instead faced a proven wrestler in promotional newcomer, Sabatello.
Johns came into the Bellator bantamweight division with some hype after two-straight octagon victories over Tony Gravely and Montel Jackson. The loss to Sabatello sent him back and kept his name out of the bantamweight grand prix tournament this year.
Johns knows his worth and expects to share it with the masses against Kakhorov
“I’m super excited just to get in there and show the world what they’ve been missing because personally I feel like the last fight was an unfortunate one performance wise,” Johns said. “I truly believe I’m definitely a top 10 fighter in this division, it’s just I have to go out there and prove it.”
Getting in the mix
Johns currently sits outside of the division’s top 10 fighters. Despite his Bellator journey getting off to a slow start, the Welsh sported a smile throughout the Bellator 275 post-fight press conference.
Johns is happy with his preparation and fight camp in the lead up to Friday. He feels it is the start of something new.
“The goal is to be the champ, I wouldn’t be in this promotion if I just felt like I was bringing up numbers” Johns said. “I want to make an impact in this division, I want a big win and Friday is the first step in putting that all into place.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.