MMA Root

Taylor Johnson Loves the PFL Format and the Big Numbers that Come with It

The inaugural event of the PFL Challenger Series will feature an eye-catching co-headliner that will see Taylor Johnson compete with Alexander Poppeck. After his stint at Bellator MMA ended after alternate results, Johnson (7-3, 0-0 PFL) feels primed for a new chapter in his career as “Tombstone” will seek to earn a place in the Professional Fighters League’s main roster . Johnson will gain 205 pounds for the occasion as he believes he has already given it his all at middleweight and doesn’t want to subject his body to weight loss again. Speaking to Sherdog, he explained why he didn’t think twice when the opportunity to fight in the PFL Challenger Series came up.

“I just thought I’d watch the PFL for a bit. I don’t know, I think the million dollar tournament would be something cool to fight too,” he said, laughing. “I like the way you bring in your fights, you knock them all out, you’re not going to sit by this long contract waiting for an opponent or an opportunity. I like the format and of course you are also enthusiastic about big numbers.”

Johnson, 31, is trying to make the most of the years to come as an MMA fighter. And it seems PFL’s particular format would be optimal for his needs to fight as much as he can while still burning the fire of youth.

“Early on in my career I had a lot of trouble getting fights for my record I think. I was kind of scary so no one wanted to fight me, but my whole career I’ve tried to fight, fight, fight, fight. There sometimes seems to be three, six or nine months between my fights, which is hard for a man. Especially when you’re in your prime, you want to use up your best version of yourself in it. Every nine months we fight, until I’m 36 we get five more fights. I try to keep busy while I still have my youth.”

Johnson also opened up about how the birth of his son changed his life, revealing that one of the main reasons he didn’t resign from Bellator was his intention to move up a department, and more.

Time stamp:

00:00) Introduction
(00:40) Becoming a father
(02:07) Battle for his Bellator contract
(03:22) His experience with losing weight
(03:57) Post-contract conversation with Bellator
(04:54) Select PFL and be offered a spot in the PFL Challenger Series
(06:29) His training camp for Poppeck
(08:25) His main sparring partners
(08:55) His contract with PFL
(10:15) Over

Tudor Leonte began writing about mixed martial arts for Italian media in 2013. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and he now covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @Mr. Tudor Leonte.

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