From the moment Michael Johnson stepped in last minute to face Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 138, fight fans were questioning whether he’d be able to hit the 146-pound Featherweight limit. With just two weeks to work with from the announcement to fight night, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room on making weight. Lobov went so far as to preemptively declare he wouldn’t accept any percentage of Johnson’s purse should there be problems.
In the end, Johnson did indeed miss weight by one pound, turning their co-main fight into a 147 pound catchweight. After he defeated Lobov on the judges’ scorecards (watch the highlights here), Johnson revealed just how much weight he had to cut, and how close they got to making it.
“I was thirty pounds a week ago, before the fight was announced, before I accepted it,” Johnson said (via Cageside Press). “I got very close. We’re used to an hour afterward to make that weight. I tried my hardest to get down in the allotted time we had, and I was a pound short.”
In the end, Johnson says it came down to the New Brunswick commission not giving him the customary extra hour other commissions grant.
“I was a little upset that I didn’t get that customary hour extra, because I would have easily got it ... I found out about ten minutes before I actually had to go back downstairs that I wasn’t getting my hour. I tried, like I said I tried. My body reacted a certain way.”
As for the 20 percent fine for missing weight, that’s still coming out of Johnson’s paycheck and going to Lobov because of commission rules. He’ll just have to rely on Lobov to turn around and pay him back.
“Apparently the commission has to take it out and give it to him,” Johnson explained. “So we’ll see if he’s a man of his word, like he said, and he’ll give it back. My management team is going to get with his management team, and we’ll see what happens.”