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Monday, Nov 22, 2010

Kajan Johnson: "I Really Feel Like It’s My Time Now"

By Kelsey Mowatt; Photo Courtesy Maximum Fighting Championship
Kajan “Rajin” Johnson is a name that is more than familiar to many observers of Canadian MMA. Not only has the lightweight veteran competed professionally since 2002, but more recently the 26 year-old-fighter has begun to come into his own, going 6-1-1 since 2008. At the recent, November 12th, Maximum Fighting Championship, Johnson demonstrated again why he continues to b one of Canada’s top lightweights, by dominating Strikeforce and WEC vet Ryan Healy for the unanimous decision win. (Pictured above: Johnson throwing a knee)
“That was my best fight yet as far as I’m concerned,” Johnson told FCF. “I’ve had a couple of other fights that are very memorable like that; my second fight with Steve Claveau and my fight against Douglas Evans, but this was my best performance ever I believe.”
Johnson’s performance was not only impressive due to Healy’s well documented abilities, but because the former XMMA champion showcased developed skills in all facets of the sport, throughout all three rounds.
“I definitely want to put my stamp down on being a full MMA guy,” Johnson said. “A lot of guys have started in one or two single martial arts and then learned everything else. I started fighting in MMA in high school. Since then I’ve been refining my skills more and more. I want my opponents to go in there and say ‘he’s good standing, he’s good on the ground, and he’s a good wrestler.”
To be fair to the resilient Healy, who kept fighting until the final bell, the Oregon fighter did take the bout on short notice.
“Yeah, he didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for me but my camp was talking to him and he was training for something else already,” Johnson said about Healy, who had won five straight heading into their bout. “He had fought about a month ago, so he was in good shape, and if he wasn’t in shape you would have seen him gas out a lot quicker. So he didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for me but I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for him either.”
The win was also important for Johnson as it returned the Raw Academy fighter to the winning column, after he was submitted by Ryan Machan at MFC 23 last December. Johnson was working to end the fight with an armbar, when Machan picked up and slammed Johnson to the mat, before tapping him out with a rear-naked-choke.
“It was really important to get in there and put on a good performance,” said Johnson. “Let everyone know that I’m not going anywhere. I lost to Machan which was a huge kick in the pants for me. I know that if we fought another hundred times I would beat him one hundred times. I was dominating him; I learned a valuable lesson though, I learned what to do when people pick you up when you have them armlocked.”
“It was good for me though,” Johnson added. “It made me realize that I had to train even harder, I had been getting a little arrogant in that I didn’t think I needed to do as much as I really need to do to beat these guys.”
With the departure of Antonio McKee to the UFC, the MFC lightweight championship could be up for grabs sometime in 2011, a possible opportunity that isn’t lost on Johnson.
“There’s nothing on paper yet, and I only have one more fight on my contract with the MFC, but we’re pretty sure I’m going to fight on their next card in February,” Johnson noted. “When I win that, then I think they’ll set me up with a title shot. Again, nothing’s signed, I don’t really know one-hundred-percent.”
It appears as though 2011 could be a break-out year for Johnson, and after years of hard training and competing on the Canadian circuit, the lightweight feels like he’s coming into his own.
“I really feel like it’s my time now,” said Johnson. “I took some losses, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons and I feel like I’ve built my skills to a point where I can compete with the guys at the top level.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 1:31 pm
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