Sarturday night at UFC 155, Michael Johnson fights the undefeated Myles Jury in a clash of two young fighters looking to establish their name their name. MMAMania's ever excellent Brian Hemminger caught up with "The Fury."
Brian Hemminger: This upcoming fight against Michael Johnson caught a lot of people by surprise because Johnson's on this solid win streak which includes Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo. Then they match him up against you, who is 1-0 in the UFC, unbeaten, but still pretty untested. What do you think that says about you that the UFC would be willing to give you such a tough fight for your first non-TUF Finale bout?
Myles Jury: I just think that the UFC thinks a little bit higher of me. I'm not getting easy fights, guys with one fights or two fights in the UFC. I got Michael Johnson who was in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 12 and he's on a nice win streak. The UFC definitely wants to test me and I guess this shows where they think my skills are at so I'm ready for the challenge.
BH: You do a lot of different things to take your mind off of the grind of training and fighting. What are some of the best distractions?
MJ: I love to read. It varies, it depends on what my imagination is feeling like. I read a book recently called "Ninety Minutes in Heaven" and I've been reading a lot of books on business. Right now I'm reading a book called "The Creature from Jekyll Island" which is pretty good, talking about the federal reserve and where our money comes from. Whatever sparks my interest at the time. I also love to play chess. I played a lot of chess when I was on The Ultimate Fighter and those guys gave me a good challenge. Last but not least, I'm a big fan of Black Ops. I'm always on there in free time and I love killing zombies.
BH: You've referenced that you've worked with a sports psychologist. What are some of the things that you talk about to help mentally prepare you for a big fight like this?
MJ: Some of the stuff we talk about is stuff that goes on in my mind. Why I think things, why I do things the way I do. The mind is really complex and I feel like it's one of the most underrated things in the sport. People are so into the physical training but I feel like preparing your mind is a really important part and it helps out a lot, especially when you're frustrated in training or have a feeling, or even just life in general. Life is so complex. You've got girl problems, big fights coming up, financial problems and all these things going on in your mind. It really helps to talk to somebody and put it all in perspective. It gives me tools to work on when I start feeling anxious, anxiety and helps put me in the right place. It definitely helps out.
BH: Michael Johnson's a powerful guy that can control where the fight takes place, standing or on the ground. What have you done to help prepare for him considering your strengths are primarily your length on the feet and your submissions?
MJ: The most important thing was to mimic Michael Johnson in sparring, practice certain scenarios that will likely be taking place in the fight, certain combinations, certain techniques we think would be effective and just doing it over and over and over again. Other than that, it's just staying healthy in training and hoping it all works out.
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