주요 콘텐츠로 건너뛰기
Charles Johnson prepares to fight Jimmy Flick in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on January 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Athletes

Charles Johnson: Activity Equals Longevity

Flyweight Charles Johnson Challenges Cody Durden In His Third Fight In Four Months At UFC Fight Night: Song vs Simon

UFC flyweight Charles Johnson accepted his third fight in four months back in February, challenging Ode’ Osbourne on short notice at UFC Fight Night: Muniz vs Allen.

Johnson received the call while on a yacht with his training partners in Thailand – an environment you’d seemingly never want to leave. Johnson took the fight anyway. With less than two weeks to prepare, he packed up his bags and traveled halfway around the world to Las Vegas, Nevada.

After two rounds, Johnson and Osbourne were split 1-1 on the scorecards. This is where Johnson usually steps on the gas and utilizes his exceptional cardio to surpass his opponents late in fights. A failed submission attempt, however, led Osbourne to secure a takedown and ultimately win the round on two of the judges’ scorecards.

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Song vs Simon

“I went for finishing moves in the third round,” Johnson said. “If I would’ve just defended the [takedown] like I did the whole fight, the judges probably don’t give him the third round. I went for a guillotine reversal because I felt like it was not a strong [takedown] and I ended up on my butt. [I need] to make championship decisions in pivotal moments of the fight.

“I feel like I had every moment in that fight; When people think of that fight, they can’t think of many moments he had, so, moving forward, I’m just happy and blessed to take home a paycheck, take care of my baby girl who’s due in May, and I’m just excited to get back in here.”

Charles Johnson poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night ceremonial weigh-in at O2 Arena on July 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Charles Johnson poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night ceremonial weigh-in at O2 Arena on July 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


For taking the fight on short notice and making only a few errors over 15 minutes, a span that saw one judge give Johnson the fight two rounds to one, was still a promising sign despite the loss. With a full camp, Johnson believes his cardio would’ve held up in the last round and given him the edge to get his hand raised.

Johnson never hung his head and immediately got back in the gym to fix those few errors. More importantly, Johnson’s coaching staff and training partners created an environment in his gym that kept him focused on how he could continue to learn and grow from his mistakes rather than sitting on the disappointing result.

Saturday's Fighters On The Rise

“A lot of it is not bouncing back, it’s about bouncing forward,” said Johnson, advising fighters to look toward the future after suffering a loss. “You got to have a great team around you before that. If you don’t, you got to be able to look in the mirror and the people around you got to look in the mirror and you got to be honest with yourself about the people you have around you that care about you. If you have the right people around you, you’ll be okay. If you got the wrong people around you, it’ll be tough; you’ll feel alone, you’ll feel like you can’t do much. This sport is already hard…if you don’t have a good team around you, then it’s difficult. Create the environment that you can keep for the longevity of a career, stay loyal and stay consistent.”

Johnson refuses to take his foot off the gas as he heads into the UFC APEX for the third time this calendar year at UFC Fight Night: Song vs Simon. Across from him stands Cody Durden, a dominant wrestler coming off two consecutive victories in 2022.

Charles Johnson Stops Jimmy Flick In Round 1 | UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Imavov
fight pass logo
Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

This video is not available in your country

There was a problem while loading content. Please try again.

Charles Johnson Stops Jimmy Flick In Round 1 | UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Imavov
/

While having fought a lot of wrestlers throughout his career, Johnson believes Durden is one of a kind. Rather than being afraid to engage on the feet and patiently waiting to execute a perfect takedown, Johnson anticipates Durden to come firing out the gates early; something Johnson’s struggled dealing with in the past.

This time around, though, Johnson’s had a full training camp to prepare for his upcoming bout and has put an emphasis on learning how to start fast and not wait until the later rounds to get ahead.

Order UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

“He’s going to bring the fight,” Johnson said. “That’s what I want. I’ve had to face a lot of wrestlers, and he wrestles too, but a lot of guys like to blitz and not stand in there with me and fight. All his fights, he starts off fast, so I’m excited about that. It’s something I’m looking to work on, and what better way to continue to work on something that I’ve been working on in camp than to go in there against a guy who doesn’t know anything but to start fast. You’re going to have to match that if you want to compete at the highest level. It’s just a test for myself, it’s fun. It’s always fun for me to go in there and challenge myself, but I’m excited to see how great I am. I know I have a lot to offer, and as I continue to go through this road, I’ll continue to show people more and more of what I can do.

“His style is just war of attrition. He gets tired in all of his fights. My tired is never someone else’s tired. When I’m in a camp and I’m training for a fight, when I get tired, you’re exhausted. He’s going to be tired. The guys that he fought; he’s been able to put his will on people. They weren’t wrestlers and they didn’t have the ability to switch [stances], move around like I do, show different styles or durability. They’re cutting a lot of weight or they’re just mentally not durable, so he’s going to find himself in deep waters really soon if he thinks he can drown me.”

Charles Johnson punches Jimmy Flick in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on January 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Charles Johnson punches Jimmy Flick in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on January 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


While getting a positive result is the most important goal for any athlete, racking up fight time is a close second on Johnson’s personal to-do list. Four fights in five months is an almost unheard of rate in the UFC outside of a few exceptions like Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland.

MAIN EVENT FEATURES: Song Yadong | Ricky Simon

As crazy as it might sound, Johnson looks at some of UFC’s current elite, long-lasting talent and noticed a similarity: they all fought frequently, especially when they were younger. The 32-year-old with only 17 professional fights to his name sees a long journey ahead and follows in their footsteps in hopes of achieving a legendary career many years down the line.

“Everybody’s who had longevity in this sport has been active,” Johnson said. “I look at Charles Oliveira, Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier. All these guys fought often when they got in the UFC, and in the beginning of their careers, nobody said they’d be a champion. They were talented, and what’d they do? They stayed consistent. It’s just about staying consistent within yourself and your discipline. For me, the more I can get into the [Octagon], the better.”

 

Order UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

UFC Fight Night: Song vs Simon took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on April 29, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass