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Johnson looking to take Diaz's dignity and fight Cerrone for UFC title

Michael Johnson discusses his upcoming fight with Nate Diaz and forecasts a title fight with Donald Cerrone in the future.

Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, it was announced that top lightweight contender Michael Johnson would take on Stockton bad boy Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 17 in December.

Johnson, who lost in a highly controversial split decision to Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 73 three weeks ago,  had rattled off wins over Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, Melvin Guillard and Edson Barboza to emerge as the #5 ranked lightweight contender.

The former TUF contestant was looking to spring back into the winners column with a win over former champion, Anthony Pettis, but will have to settle for Nate Diaz instead. Although Diaz has been absent from the UFC for 8 months and has slipped down the 155 lbs. rankings to #14, Johnson is still excited to take on the hardened veteran.

"He can't help but talk shit. That's what he does," Johnson told MMAJunkie. "I don't have to hope that it's going to happen. I can't wait for him to start running his mouth. I'll egg him on a little bit. Regardless of his ranking, Nate is still one of the best lightweights in the world. I'm not going to take that away from him, I'm just going to take his dignity away from him once we get in the cage."

Johnson vs. Diaz will take place on the same card as Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone, and Johnson believes 'Cowboy' will take home the gold in the rematch. The breakout contender forecasts a title fight with Cerrone in the future.

"I believe ‘Cowboy' is going to take the title, I really do. I've trained with ‘Cowboy' and people say he chokes in big fights, but I think he's on a momentum and he's going to ride that wave. I think me and ‘Cowboy' are going to have to fight for the title pretty soon."

UFC on FOX 17, featuring Michael Johnson vs. Nate Diaz and Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone, will take place on December 19th at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

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