‘Forget the job, I was fighting for my life’: Michael Johnson opens up on ‘dark hole’ and admits he was broke before snapping four-fight losing streak to rescue UFC career
- Michael Johnson was at crossroads of his career heading into Saturday night
- American had lost his last four and admitted to being ‘in a very dark hole’
- He said his phone stopped ringing and people turned their back on him
Michael Johnson has admitted finding himself in ‘a dark hole’ and said he was ‘fighting for his life’ on Saturday night.
The former top UFC lightweight contender has been on a four-fight losing streak and even confessed to being broke.
Those dark times have engulfed Johnson in recent years but he managed to snap the skid with a knockout victory over Alan Patrick at the weekend. It was a win to rescue his UFC career.
Michael Johnson had the weight of the world on his shoulders before winning on Saturday
The veteran snapped a four-fight losing streak by overcoming Alan Patrick (left)
Afterwards he reflected on the performance and the light it has brought to the darkness he felt surrounded him.
‘I’ve had a lot of big wins. I’ve had a lot of devastating losses, but that’s (the win over Patrick) probably one of the better moments in my life just because I was in such a dark hole.
‘(I) went through so much to get to this point, a year and a half layoff, being broke, trying to figure out things. It feels good.
‘When you’re almost at the top, or at the top, and almost there and then you’re just reduced to nothing, it feels terrible,’ Johnson said. “It feels like s**t. Especially being an athlete. We’re all considered alpha males and we’re the best of the best – and then you sit back and realize that you’re not the best of the best.
He continued: ‘You lost four in a row, something is going wrong. You end up being alone because your phone is not ringing enough, people are kind of turning their backs to you – which is a good thing, all the hangers just fall off themselves, so now you have time to focus on yourself and what do yo, but it’s great.
‘Like I said, being broke, trying to figure out which way to go in life like, “Do I really still want to fight? F**k yeah I still want to fight. I’m not giving this up.” So it’s incredible to get out that hole.
Johnson was once one of his division’s most dangerous fighters but then lost his way
Johnson holds wins over the likes of Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier and Edson Barboza.
But he lost against Josh Emmett, Stevie Ray, Thiago Moises and Clay Guida to put enormous pressure on Saturday night’s performance.
Johnson went as far as to say he was fighting for his life.
He explained: ‘F**k, I was fighting for my life, forget the job. I need to make ends meet. I need to be successful. This is where I get my main paycheck.
‘This is where I take care of myself and I can help my family and get through hard times. I definitely needed this to get back on track and get a little bit of weight off my shoulders. I wasn’t going to be satisfied with a decision win.
‘I needed to put on a statement and show and prove to everybody that I still got it. I’m not going anywhere. Hey, I’m 35, but I’m just getting better.’
Oliveira won by stoppage and would have been cut from the UFC if he had lost