Michael Johnson Turned Down Donald Cerrone At UFC 187

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UFC lightweight striker Donald Cerrone extended his win streak to an astounding eight fights this past weekend (Saturday May 23rd, 2015) as he helped make UFC 187 one of the most memorable cards of all time. ”’Cowboy’ has been serious hot property in the 155-pound division, most recently beating John Makdessi in Sin City, and also topping Benson Henderson, Myles Jury, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, Evan Dunham, Jim Miller and Adriano Martins.

Cerrone’s incredible run of form has led to a guaranteed title shot in the busy division. It’s hard to argue against that given the superb form ‘Cowboy’ is in presently, especially considering he has unfinished business with the champion Rafael Dos Anjos. Defeating ‘The Bull’ on short notice may not have been the crescendo that the Greg Jackson‘s MMA product was hoping for, after originally being slated to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at the blockbuster event.

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Blackzilian lightweight Michael Johnson’s name has been cropping up recently, as he blasted Benson Henderson for ducking him in an interview this week. In quite the contrast, ‘The Menace’ reveals that he turned down a fight with the dangerous Cerrone at UFC 187, as per MMAJunkie.com:

“I was the first one they called, but unfortunately, timing’s everything, and I couldn’t take it, I was dealing with a little shoulder problem I had to get worked out on, and three weeks of me not really training isn’t enough time to get ready for a fight like ‘Cowboy.’”

Well that’s an interesting turn up for the books, as he was slating ‘Smooth’ for being scared to fight him, Johnson himself was turning down a fight due to an injury, which was the reason Bendo gave for being unable to fight ‘Blackiao’. He continued:

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“Watching him fight, I was like, ‘Sh-t. Maybe I should have just signed it and went in and fought,’” Johnson said. “It is what is it. The title’s not going anywhere, and I’ll be there pretty soon.”

“(If I win my) next fight, then it has to be the title fight; three of the top five guys are hurt, and they’re not going anywhere, so it would have to be me,” Johnson said. “If ‘Cowboy’ didn’t want to wait (for a title shot), I could easily see me and him fighting for a real No. 1 contender fight. But we’ll see what happens.”

With Gilbert Melendez scheduled to face Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188, and Khabib Nurmagomedov/Anthony Pettis injured, Johnson could well be in with a good shout. That being said, Cerrone’s eight fight win-streak make’s Johnson’s four fight/three decision spree look a little crusty. Nonetheless, there aren’t many other options right now given circumstance.

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Perhaps Johnson should have taken a leaf out of Cerrone’s book; the former WEC stand out has competed three times this year already, and two of those fights were only 15 days apart. Ever the company man, the world is at the feet of ‘Cowboy’, but can he overcome the man that dominated him so thoroughly when they first fought?