Jose Johnson discusses his vicious, viral elbow strike knockout win this past Friday night over Rafael Costa at LFA 78 . The event took place at Bell County Expo Center in Belton, Texas and was the first for the organization to stream on UFC Fight Pass.
If you happened to miss the knockout, you can check it out below courtesy of MMA Junkie’s Twitter page:
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) November 16, 2019
While the finish got a lot of attention for the 24-year-old — who is now on a five-fight winning streak with all finishes — it is not the first time he has gone viral in an MMA bout. While the knockout finish in December 2014 at an amateur event was an interesting tale in its own right, the finish of Costa was much scarier, and much more impactful for the Michigan prospect.
“If you didn’t know, I had actually went viral a few years ago, too,” Johnson told MyMMANews.com. “It was like four years ago. I kicked some dude’s eye out and it went viral on YouTube. It was something that I was used to but it was less funny this time. The first time that it happened, it was more so like a joke. This time, it was different because it was on a bigger pedestal. It was for LFA, it was their debut on UFC Fight Pass. I’m still like in shock, almost. It was crazy. I don’t even have words, I’m just so thankful for the opportunity.”
The knockout from late 2014 for Johnson was in a fight against Alan Grays. Johnson landed a ferocious head kick that stunned Grays and the referee stopped the fight immediately after. As you can see in the video below, Johnson’s head kick landed so clean that it knocked out the prosthetic eyeball of his opponent en route to the victory.
Following the big win at LFA 78, Johnson discussed how he felt in the moment after delivering the fight-ending blow, how his opponent talked a lot of trash in the buildup to the fight on Friday, finding out about the card during the UFC 244 broadcast and how he needed to get on it despite it being on around a week’s notice, how his MMA career began, his extensive amateur run — which included around 80 amateur fights, over 30 in 2015 alone — his hopes to fight again in early 2020 for Michigan promotion WXC, the impact Jarred Brooks has had on his training and career and much more.
Johnson also believes a call to the UFC is coming and he is wondering what else he needs to do to get on Dana White and the matchmakers’ radars.
“I definitely think I’ve worked hard enough to get the straight call to the UFC but if the Contender Series happens — whatever opportunity I’m given — I’m gonna make the best out of it,” Johnson said. “That’s all I ever asked for is an opportunity so I can be a better father, a better husband, to better my life. That’s all I want.
“I am a little mad at Dana [White], I’m not gonna lie. I’m mad at Dana because it’s like, do I really have to legitimately kill somebody to get this guy’s attention or what? It’s bad to say, but what more do I have to do? I’m destroying these guys and these guys are not bums. It was at one point where they couldn’t find anyone at 135 to fight me, they couldn’t find anyone at 145 to fight me. I had a fight scheduled and I was down to 137 when I found out my opponent backed out. It was like three days before weigh-ins and I said to find me somebody at 155. I put that weight back off for a 55 fight and I ended up splitting the dude’s head wide open with an elbow. Golly, I’m jumping through hoops that are on fire to get Dana’s attention. But I think it’s coming soon. I know for a fact that he likes what he saw and, until then, I’ll continue to do the same thing I’m doing until I’m worthy [of that call].”
Check out the full interview with Jose Johnson coming off of his vicious knockout win at LFA 78 in the video above.
Mike Heck is the a freelance MMA journalist covering the sport for a number of websites. Specializing in video interviews, Mike interviews everybody from prospects, to title contenders, to world champions, along with other influential personalities in the sport of MMA. Subscribe to his channel at https://youtube.com/mikeheckmma.