TUF 25 Finale's Jordan Johnson: 'No reason to go out of first gear' against Marcel Fortuna

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LAS VEGAS – It may not look like it by his post-fight interview, but Jordan Johnson is happy.

And, of course, the light heavyweight has every reason to be. By beating Marcel Fortuna (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) via unanimous decision at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, Johnson (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) expanded his still-undefeated pro record, got his win money and now holds two UFC victories in a division that’s hungry for new blood.

So, yes, Johnson is happy. Which doesn’t mean he’s entirely satisfied with his display. Not that he doesn’t think he won decisively – in fact, he can’t even see why all three judges would have scored it a 29-28.

“He did not win a round; he didn’t do anything in that fight,” Johnson said after Friday’s FS1-televised main-card opener, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It’s just that, considering that his opponent didn’t present him with a single surprise, he thinks he could have done even better.

“Not to dog on him, but it was an easy fight,” Johnson said. “There was no reason to go out of first gear. So I just stayed in first gear. I just kept doing what I was doing. There was really no reason to crank it up. Because I could just do what I was doing and win the fight.

“Maybe if I could go back, maybe would’ve cranked it up a little bit. I just kind of went in there, and I just wanted to fight. Maybe, looking back, I’ll watch the tape. Probably should’ve just cranked it up and just gone in there and whooped his ass. Which I did do, but just whooped it worse.”

Regardless, it was a win – and one at the high-profile International Fight Week. And while the added flair of the stage doesn’t really matter to the seemingly blasé Johnson, he does understand he’s in a division that allows for rapid growth opportunity.

Which is why, after adding a second straight win to his unblemished record, he’s already started to “bull(expletive)” around with his coaches and management to figure out the best route to the title.

“We’re going to figure out the next step that’s going to get me to the title shot, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Johnson said.

As for who might provide him with that next step, Johnson remained cryptic. He did remind everyone that he’s quite active on social media, though, so you might want to stay tuned for news on that front.

To hear Johnson himself, check out the video above.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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TUF 25 Finale results: Jordan Johnson stays unbeaten, outworks Marcel Fortuna for decision

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He had to eat a couple hard right hands and scramble to finish his takedowns, but it paid off for Jordan Johnson in a close battle with Marcel Fortuna.

Johnson (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) finished strong after some dicey moments thanks to the power of Fortuna (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), and his reward was a unanimous decision victory with scores of 29-28 from all three judges.

The light-heavyweight bout opened the main card for today’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Though Fortuna was the early aggressor, it was Johnson who made the first real impact in the fight, dropping his foe with a right hand in response to a kick in the opening moments of the moment. But for Johnson, keeping Fortuna down would prove to be a difficult task, and getting him there wasn’t much easier.

Some of that was due to Fortuna getting a little help from the top of the cage. At least twice he stymied Johnson’s takedown attempts by grabbing the top of the fence, even though referee John McCarthy didn’t always seem to notice. Still, even after being briefly wobbled by a Fortuna right hand in the second, Johnson kept digging and eventually got the takedown late in the round.

Johnson adopted a similar strategy in the final frame, keeping his output relatively low until the last 90 seconds of the round, then turning up the heat with his punches while also looking for openings to take the fight to the mat. In the end, it made for a somewhat close fight in the eyes of the judges, but all three saw it just barely in Johnson’s favor, giving him the win with 29-28 scores across the board.

“I feel great,” Johnson said. “That dude was a IBJJF world champion and I was a mediocre wrestler, and we just got in a fist fight and I beat him. People need to put their kids in wrestling programs and put money back into the schools. I was hitting him hard. I’m sure people could hear when I hit him. He didn’t really touch me. I caught everything on my forearms. I’m going to have a fake Fourth of July party right now and I’m going to enjoy Vegas for a couple days.”

With the win, Johnson maintains his perfect professional record, and has now won two straight in the UFC. Fortuna’s loss snaps a six-fight winning streak.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 25 Finale results include:

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for the TUF 25 Finale in Las Vegas

(Editor’s note: This story will be updated late Wednesday after the second finalist for Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” is announced. That welterweight fight, which already includes Dhiego Lima, will serve as the co-main event.)

We want your predictions for Friday’s TUF 25 Finale event in Las Vegas.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the TUF 25 Finale staff picks we release on Thursday ahead of the event. The TUF 25 Finale takes place Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje

Records: Michael Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC), Justin Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Johnson 2-3, Gaethje 5-0
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: Gaethje No. 7, Johnson No. 12
Odds (as of 7/2/17): N/A

Take Our Poll
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Marc Diakiese vs. Drakkar Klose

Records: Marc Diakiese (12-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Drakkar Klose (7-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Past five: Diakiese 5-0, Klose 4-0-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/2/17): N/A

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Steve Bosse vs. Jared Cannonier

Records: Steve Bosse (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Jared Cannonier (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC)
Past five: Bosse 4-1, Cannonier 3-2
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/2/17): N/A

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Brad Tavares vs. Elias Theodorou

Records: Brad Tavares (14-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC), Elias Theodorou (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Past five: Tavares 2-3, Theodorou 4-1
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/2/17): N/A

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Marcel Fortuna vs. Jordan Johnson

Records: Marcel Fortuna (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Jordan Johnson (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Past five: Fortuna 5-0, Johnson 5-0
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/2/17): N/A

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For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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