Michael Johnson reveals he was broke and struggling despite spending the last decade in the UFC

UFC veteran Michael Johnson just had a triumphant return to the octagon. The veteran has been with the UFC for over a decade yet he could barely afford to live.

Michael Johnson had a bad streak prior to entering the octagon last weekend. The 35-year-old had four consecutive losses since 2019. Additionally, he only won 4 fights out of his last 13 fights in the UFC. Many fans were even convinced that his time was over.

Johnson has been with the UFC since 2010, when he made it following a stint on The Ultimate Fighter.

After over a year of inactivity, Johnson returned to the octagon at UFC Vegas 54. He clashed with Alan Patrick and came out victorious after delivering a heavy blow that rendered Patrick unconscious.

At this point both Johnson and his coach from Sanford MMA, Henri Hooft, hoped he’d get the $50,000 bonus – but as luck would have it the bonuses would go to Ryan Spann, Chookagian and Ribas and Manuel Torres.

During the post-fight press conference, Michael Johnson revealed how miserable he was in the past three years.

“I’ve been through a lot in my life. I’ve had a lot of big wins. I’ve had a lot of devastating losses, but that’s (his recent victory) 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.” Johnson said.

Johnson explained further that it felt even worse knowing he was a well-rounded fighter back in the days.

Prior to his downfall, Johnson defeated the likes of Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, and Edson Barboza.

“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. It feels like sh*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.” Johnson said.


Despite going through a key moment in his career, Michael Johnson was upset when he did not win the bonus for his performance.

Chookagian vs. Amanda Ribas won the Fight of The Night bonus while Ryan Spann and Manuel Torres won the Performance of The Night Bonus.

With the latest victory, Michael Johnson has more wins in the past two years than the MMA super star Conor McGregor. McGregor’s last victory was back in 2020 against Donald Cerone. Despite a ‘better’ MMA record, Johnson is likely going to be facing more financial issues in the future.