Jose Johnson looks to continue dominant run right into the UFC.
Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) has become a fan favorite and the perfect way for prospects to enter the ranks of the UFC. The likes of Sean O’Malley, Maycee Barber and Sodiq Yusuf have all found enormous success since debuting on the show and winning a contract from White. Jose Johnson (11-5) felt the validation when finding out the news he would be competing on the show.
“I was at practice when I got the call,” Johnson laughed. “My manager called me and told me ‘get ready the opportunity we knew was coming is here’. I’ve been preparing, I’m ready.”
Johnson is coming off of an insane and now viral KO victory at LFA 78. A vicious elbow that put his opponent, Rafael Costa, to sleep. While Johnson now holds a viral KO, a five fight winning streak and a shot at a UFC contract in the palm of his hands, it wasn’t always a glamorous career for the Texas native. Johnson began his career 0-2 after an impressive amateur career. In his first 10 appearances, Johnson only held a 6-4 record professionally.
“The turning point would have to be, man the turning point would be that last loss against Armando [Villarreal],” Johnson admitted. “Before that loss I came into fights thinking I had to be a show man, I have to show these people I can do everything, I’d grapple with opponents just to show I could,” Johnson continued. “In actuality that was the lesser of my strengths. I’ve focused hard, now all I think about is finishing. That 0-2 start hurt man, people had high expectations for me coming pro. Honestly I appreciate all the losses I’ve had it was nothing but experience.”
While Johnson is preparing to continue his powerful finish streak (stands at five fights) he knows it’ll be a tough test against Ronnie Lawrence (5-1). Johnson doesn’t expect nerves to be a factor. Lawrence is on a two fight winning streak and has finished three of his professional fights. When asked for a prediction, Johnson had a simple answer, size.
“Size will be a problem for him [Lawrence], Johnson told MyMMANews. “His only loss was to a guy [Stevie Garcia] the same height as me, not as good a striker, but elusive and he struggled a-lot. I know he doesn’t work as hard as I do, he doesn’t want this as bad as I do.”
Johnson is not alone in DWCS, as his cousin and teammate, Jhonoven Pati is competing as the headliner the week prior to Johnson’s fight on September 1st. Catch the full interview in the video above to hear Johnson speak on his gym, his amateur career and more.