Another UFC win for B.C.’s Kajan Johnson

Burns Lake native Kajan Johnson (top) scored a big win Saturday at UFC Fight Night 75 in Japan. POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Burns Lake native Kajan Johnson (top) scored a big win Saturday at UFC Fight Night 75 in Japan. POSTMEDIA NETWORK

There are a lot of good guys in the sport of MMA that you can’t help but cheer for. Local fighter Kajan Johnson (21-11-1) is near the top of that list, and he was back in a UFC Octagon Saturday night.

It’s been a lifetime of adversity for the 31-year-old from Burns Lake. For well over a decade, Johnson’s one dream was to make it to the UFC, but a second career-threatening orbital bone injury in 2012 almost derailed those plans.

In 2014, Johnson was invited to represent Canada on the The Ultimate Fighter: Nations reality show. After so many ups and downs he was getting his shot. Unfortunately, it was the type of shot that was seen and heard around the world when he was viciously knocked out by fellow Canadian Chad Laprise in the semifinals. That KO broke Johnson’s jaw in three different places.

Kajan Johnson 1Fast forward to June 14, 2014, and the UFC dream had finally become a reality. Johnson had healed up from the nasty KO and made his UFC debut in front of his friends and family at UFC 174 in Vancouver. In what was considered fight of the night, Johnson once again got tagged and knocked out in the third round.

After being on the shelf for 11 months dealing with post-concussion symptoms, Johnson remained in Montreal and continued training at the renowned Tristar Gym. In May, Johnson finally picked up his first UFC win against Lipeng Zhang.

Last weekend “Ragin’” Kajan made his way to Saitama, Japan, for UFC Fight Night 75 and looked dominant. He beat and almost finished a very durable Naoyuki Kotani. Johnson picked up another UFC win via unanimous decision and after the fight the charismatic warrior showed gratitude.

“It’s so amazing fighting in Japan,” Johnson said. “The crowd is so different than in America. In the U.S., everyone is booing or yelling ‘Hit him in the face,’ whereas in Japan, everyone is so respectful. As a martial artist, it’s great to see that respect for my profession.

“I’m not looking too far in the future regarding what’s next for me. There is still a lot I need to improve on and I don’t want to jump the ladder too quickly. I definitely need to add more gas to my tank and improve my conditioning. I also have to start finishing guys and not leave it to the judges. I hate the judges.”

It was nice to see Johnson’s infectious smile again.

Posted on September 28, 2015, in Warrior and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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