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Despite beating some of UFC lightweight best, Michael Johnson has more to accomplish

Michael Johnson’s record is certainly not reflective of the career he’s had in the octagon.

Johnson, a Season 12 “Ultimate Fighter” finalist, has fought a who’s-who in MMA. He holds wins over former UFC interim lightweight champions Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, as well as the likes of Edson Barboza and Joe Lauzon.

But Johnson currently is on a three-fight losing skid and has dropped six of his past eight. A lot of his losses were heartbreaking – bouts in which he was winning or in firm control of before getting stopped.

Johnson (19-16 MMA, 11-12 UFC) knows he has the ability to compete with the best, and despite his rough stretch, he’s not giving up on his goal of becoming champion.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because I’ve fought the best of the best, and I’m still on that path, and I’ve beaten some guys. But then at the same time, I haven’t accomplished what I’ve wanted to accomplish,” Johnson told MMA Junkie Radio. “I haven’t fought for a world title, I haven’t become a world champion yet, and that’s something that’s on the radar – and I still have that plan in mind. I’m not going anywhere.

“And another thing is, I’ve just changed up my chain of thought and the living and everything. So all of those past fights, all the fights I’ve been into and all the guys that I’ve beaten, that means absolutely nothing right now. I’ve kind of rebranded myself to become a better man, a better person, and ultimately a better fighter.”

While having wins over the likes of Poirier and Ferguson will always be impressive on his resume, Johnson has put those accomplishments on the back burner.

As he enters his 24th UFC fight against fellow longtime fighter Clay Guida (35-20 MMA, 15-14 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 184 on Saturday, he’s looking to start a new run.

“It does (mean) a little bit because it means that I have the talent and it means I am good enough to be a world champion,” Johnson said. “That’s what it means to me right there – that I know I have the talent. I know I have the skill, and I just need to stay on the right path.

“As far as me saying it doesn’t mean anything to me, this is a new fight for me. It’s a new career for me. I’m starting out as 0-0, in my mind. I dropped my nickname. I don’t go by ‘The Menace’ anymore, so it’s just Michael Johnson. And I’m just here for business and to beat as many guys as I need to beat to get back to the title.”

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