Michael Johnson is headlining the UFC Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, where he faces former World Series Of Fighting Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje.
Conor McGregor is the current lightweight champion and according to Johnson, the Irishman gave up the belt when he signed for the super fight against Floyd Mayweather.
“We don’t have a champ in this division,” Johnson told MMA Junkie. “Once Conor signed that contract to go box, to me, he vacated the title. That’s how it should be. I’ve beaten two of the top guys up there. I want to make a strong case for fighting for a title or an interim title. I think that’s in my future.”
Although the lightweight title hasn’t been defended since UFC 205, the coach of McGregor in John Kavanagh said the champion may return this December.
Johnson also feels that his opponent, who is making his UFC debut, is underestimating him.
“I feel like they looked at the top 10 and were like, ‘We want Michael Johnson, he’s the easiest guy in there to fight,'” Johnson said. “I feel tested. That’s my motivation, that’s where it’s coming from. It’s his first fight in the UFC. I don’t need to make him nervous. He’s nervous enough already.”
UFC Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale takes place on Friday, July 7 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.