This Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 will see the UFC’s #12 heavyweight, Timothy Johnson, look to pick up back to back wins inside of the promotion for the first time, as the Top-15 265’er welcomes the debuting Junior Albini to the UFC Octagon. Johnson has gone 3-2 inside of the UFC, and with consecutive wins, hopes to earn himself a Top-10 opponent in his next go ‘round. Before marching into UFC Long Island this Saturday night, Tim Johnson caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his split decision win over Daniel Omielanczuk, finally getting a fight on home soil, and calls out #7 heavyweight Derrick Lewis.
Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 main card will air live on FOX at 8:00 P.M. ET, with the prelims starting at 6:00 P.M. ET, also on FOX. The exclusive Fight Pass prelims will begin at 4:00 P.M. ET.
- After three-straight events overseas, getting to fight on home soil at UFC on FOX 25 in Long Island, New York:
“It’s going to be a nice change of pace. I was just thinking that a little while ago, how nice it’s going to be. I’m going to fly out Monday, instead of the Friday before the fight, and just less travel time. It’s fun going overseas and all that, but it kind of wears and tears on you a little bit more than you’d expect.”
- Picking up the split decision over Daniel Omielanczuk at UFC Fight Night 107:
“That was probably my ugliest fight in the UFC, by far. I didn’t do anything that I really wanted to do. It was just one of those fights that I had to just grit down and get through. I think maybe him being southpaw, and he did have some quick hand speed. It kind of took me by surprise. I didn’t really accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. I was more convinced I won in the Volkov fight than this one.”
- What was it like going from fighting one of the tallest guys in the division, Alexander Volkov at 6’7,” to one of the shortest in Omielanczuk at 6’ even?
“It wasn’t too big of a difference. There was such a gap between the two, that I just went back to fighting like a normal sized heavyweight, basically.”
- With your UFC on FOX 25 opponent, Junior Albini, making his promotional debut, have you been able to scout him at all?
“Well, he hasn’t fought in a year on top of it, and I’ve been able to find like 3 fights on him, and we haven’t watched 2 of the fights because they were so long ago. You can’t really judge a fighter by their fights from 3 or 4 years ago, so we just got 1 fight to go off of. I think we found a couple little tendencies, but other than that, I’m just going to go out there, and be probably another ugly fight because you don’t really how to prepare.”
- With you being ranked #12, how did you get booked against a debuting fighter?
“It’s definitely not the fight I wanted; I was hoping to get a Top 10 guy, but every other heavyweight was booked up, from 12 up. Everyone had a fight, so it’s basically, you can take this fight now, or you’re going to be waiting until like November/December before you’re fighting again. I’m like, well, that’s not going to work, so I guess I’ll have to risk fighting a debut, ranked 12, and hopefully get away with the W.”
- Training with Anthony Hamilton and Roy Nelson at Xtreme Couture:
“With Anthony, it was nice, definitely with the wrestling, with the grappling, to get that in again. Roy’s always got a bug in my ear about what I’m doing wrong, and making sure I switch it before it becomes too big of a problem. So, it’s nice being able to go out there for my camps and have those types of guys out there.”
- Do you have a prediction for this fight, despite a lack of knowledge on your opponent?
“I think it’ll be a lot of Tim getting punched in the face again, and then eventually finding an opening, and then Tim punching him back.”
- Wanting to fight Derrick Lewis for the past 2 years:
“I’ve been wanting to fight Derrick Lewis for the past 2 years, but that hasn’t ever lined up. So, right now that’s the only name that comes up. After this fight, we’ll have to wait and see.”
- Why Derrick Lewis?
“Stylistically, he’s one of the hardest punchers in the division, and I got one of the hardest heads in the division, so I can probably eat a couple of his punches, and kind of frustrate, and employ my gameplan on him.”
Watch the UFC’s #12 heavyweight Timothy Johnson wage war with Junior Albini, at UFC on FOX 25 from Long Island, New York on July 22, 2017. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!