Timothy Johnson collides with Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of Bellator 269. It all emanates from VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia, and broadcasts on Showtime.
Johnson is presently ranked number two at heavyweight and tests skills with a legendary figure who returns to competition.
The Xtreme Couture product recently had a three-fight winning streak snapped in the pursuit of the interim heavyweight title against Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 261.
Timothy Johnson goes from fighting an ever galvanizing Team Fedor fighter to the team’s titular titan himself.
I spoke with Johnson at the media day ahead of the event. The excerpt from our interaction is below.
Getting in work with Roy Nelson and recent training efforts at Xtreme Couture
“Sergey Spivak was in there with me quite a bit… Chris Thompson. We just kind of worked with a handful of light heavyweights and 185ers too. Just to kind of keep my hand speed up. And, yeah, I mean that’s kind of the basis of this camp. Worked out quite a bit back in Minnesota, Fargo, and North Dakota area. Because I had to go back a handful of times for military duty. So I mean I was bouncing around a lot this camp.”
If Johnson’s focus on weaponizing pace will pay dividends against someone regarded as one of the more nimble heavyweights historically
“I don’t think it’s gonna be too much. That’s why I kind of like sparring heavyweights. Just to get the weight and the feel of it for grappling and clinch work. That’s the reason why I like working with light heavyweights and the 185ers. Because I’m not going to be able to keep up with their hand speed. But at least I’ll get adjusted to seeing how fast their hands are. So in theory, if I can see their hands I should be able to see any heavyweight’s hands.”