Timothy Johnson wants to make title run, lose journeyman label following Bellator 243 win

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Timothy Johnson thinks he’s hitting a new gear in his fighting career.

The heavyweight veteran thinks he’s shedding his journeyman label and turning into a title contender following his victory at Bellator 243 on Friday. Johnson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) stopped Matt Mitrione with a first-round TKO in the co-main event.

Johnson knew the bout with Mitrione was an important step into changing his standing in Bellator’s heavyweight division.

“I knew the opportunity that was in front of me, and I’ve had multiple opportunities in my career and I’ve kind of messed them all up,” Johnson said after the fight. “Before this fight (Friday), I guess I had the title of a journeyman for good reason, and I didn’t want to go through my career as that.

“I want to make a push right now – try to make something and accomplish my goals. I think I’m on my way right now.”

Johnson thinks confidence has been a big factor for him in his two-fight winning streak. The 35-year-old upset 9-1 favorite and blue-chip prospect Tyrell Fortune in February before his modest upset of Mitrione.

Johnson wants to return in the fall and wants a top contender who will put him in the mix for a shot at Ryan Bader’s heavyweight belt.

“I feel pretty good, but I hope I can get a fight here in September against the next in line that would put me in that title contention,” Johnson said. “A couple of these wins here, a loss to someone there isn’t going to kill me like a loss (Friday). I would’ve been back to square one. So I’m happy where things are at right now.”

Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/08/timothy-johnson-wants-to-make-title-run-lose-journeyman-label-following-bellator-243-win/

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