Longtime lightweight contender Michael Johnson will make his 145-pound debut when he faces Darren Elkins at UFC Fight Night 124.
Johnson announced the pairing via Instagram on Thursday. Combate was first to report the matchup. UFC Fight Night 124 takes place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Jan. 14 and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The 31-year-old Johnson has lost four of his last five bouts, albeit against top-level competition. Most recently, “The Menace” engaged in a 2017 “Fight of the Year” candidate in a second-round TKO defeat to Justin Gaethje at “The Ultimate Fighter 25” finale on July 7. Johnson has also lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Beneil Dariush and Nate Diaz during his current slump, with his lone victory coming over Dustin Poirier in September 2016.
Elkins has quietly established himself as one of the featherweight division’s most consistent performers during a five-bout winning streak. “The Damage” authored a memorable 2017 campaign, coming from behind for a third-round knockout of prospect Mirsad Bektic at UFC 209 before garnering a split verdict over Dennis Bermudez at UFC on Fox 25.
The next fight is on!! And oh is it a great one for many many reasons! THE #1 FIRST EVER hometown fight in #stlouis plus my debut into a new division!! JAN 14th! #fightime #saintlouis #stlouis #teammenace #teammj #MichaelJohnson #ufc#cardinals #blues #budlight #budweiser #anheuserbusch #grindtime #titannutrition #homecoming #hometown #home #january #iseestraps