Now sure, a lot of fans here in N.A. might not be looking at this Sunday’s UFC FN 61 as a “must see” event, but there are some interesting match-ups on the card. Case in point, in the co-headliner, Michael Johnson will take on fellow lightweight contender, Edson Barboza.
Since Johnson hasn’t fought in nearly a year, some folks may have forgotten that he’s coming off three, consecutive wins. After losing to Myles Jury and Reza Madadi, Johnson has scored victories over Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau and Melvin Guillard, and has showcased some pretty nice striking while doing so.
In Barboza, however, Johnson will face one of the division’s most dangerous stand-up artists, who has gone 4-1 in his last 5 contests. Recently the feared striker told MMA Junkie.com Radio that “I work very hard at my speed, and I believe I’m way faster.”
So, what did Johnson have to say about Barboza’s assessment? Well, the Blackzilians fighter responded to Barboza’s comment with the following (quote via MMA Junkei.com):
“That’s the funniest thing ever if he thinks he’s faster than me,” Johnson said. “His kicks might be a little faster, but his hands aren’t faster than mine. His movements aren’t faster than mine. His head movement isn’t faster than mine.
“It’s no comparison if you ask me. He’s going to be really surprised once we start exchanging punches and I start moving around on him and he can’t find me. He’s going to start second-guessing that comment he made.”
We shall see soon enough. Hand speed and striking skills aside, this is a big fight at 155. Barboza is currently ranked #6 and is looking to crack the top 5 with a win. Johnson, meanwhile, is sitting in the #12 position and could move into the top ten if he takes out the Brazilian.
UFC FN 61 will go down in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Sunday and will feature a heavyweight bout between Frank Mir and “Bigfoot” Silva in the headliner.