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UFC releases statement on 'domestic dispute' that caused Michael Johnson's inactivity

A day after the UFC formally announced the return of Michael Johnson to the cage, officials released a statement on the promotion's website explaining his prolonged absence.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday afternoon the UFC announced a pivotal lightweight match-up between Edson Barboza and Michael Johnson in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Johnson hasn't fought since a decision win over Melvin Guillard in early March, and injuries have been the supposed reason for his recent inactivity. However, in a statement released by the UFC tonight, it's been revealed that Johnson was arrested back in April:

UFC lightweight Michael Johnson was ineligible to compete in the UFC organization following his arrest regarding a domestic dispute in Palm Beach County, Florida in April 2014. Given that the allegations against Johnson constituted a potential violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy, the UFC organization temporarily barred Johnson from competition pending the completion of a third-party investigation. Following a thorough review and investigation—including personal interviews with Johnson and independent confirmation that he has satisfied all obligations required by the UFC—Johnson is once again eligible to compete and will begin training for his next fight at UFC Fight Night: Evans vs. Teixeira in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The UFC will continue to monitor Johnson’s status. He must fully comply with the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and all other contractual and additional obligations in order to continue competing in the UFC

It should be noted that the UFC booked Johnson for a July fight with Josh Thomson before it was reported that Johnson had to withdraw due to injury on July 11th. The fight itself was made on May 9th, a month after his arrest, but it's only now that any of this has come to light.