Kajan Johnson made a successful return to the UFC after a two year absence at UFC 215 and he scored a knockout win over Adriano Martins.
The lightweight fighter is claiming that if he suffers another knockout loss, that his professional MMA career may come to an end.
“If I did lose that fight, it was very likely that it was going to be with a knockout. And I’m not down to get knocked out again. So if I did get knocked out, I probably would have quit, anyway,” Johnson told The MMA Circus. “My back’s always kind of against the wall, because I’m not down for more brain damage. I would have really had to assess everything. I don’t want another knockout (loss). I don’t want to have consecutive knockouts. I already got knocked out twice in a row; name a fighter who’s come back from that? I don’t know any. Because I did that, there has been a lot of brain damage that has occurred. I’m 15 years deep; my brain isn’t what it used to be. I stutter more, I stumble along words more. I already notice these little things. I’m not down to continue to incur massive amounts of damage in this sport. If I get knocked out again, I would probably step away.”
Johnson has already suffered four knockout losses in his 34 fight MMA career, with the last one happening over three years ago at UFC 174. Johnson has also been outspoken about fighter pay and benefits throughout his career.
Even if the fighter doesn’t suffer another knockout loss in his career, the fighter may retire when he turns 35 anyway.
“It really depends on what happens in the next couple years, but I’ve always said 35 was my cut off,” he said. “That really depends on where I am when I hit 35. I’m 33 already; I’m turning 34 in April. That’s pretty close. But if I turn 35 and I’m in striking distance of that title, I’ll stay the course. But if I turn 35 and it’ll take me another five years to get that belt, I’m sorry, I’m gone. I’m done.”
A return date for his next Octagon appearance has yet to be set.