The 31-year-old, who has lost four out of his last five bouts, has been recovering following his Fight of the Year contender against Justin Gaethje back in July. The former Ultimate Fighter finalist has long since been considered to be one of the best in the division at lightweight, but his last few fights have signalled that perhaps a change of pace is required.
During a Q&A session at this weekend’s event in Rotterdam, Johnson threw out a challenge to former champion Jose Aldo.
The Brazilian has come under a great deal of scrutiny as of late due to his reaction to Conor McGregor’s loss against Floyd Mayweather, with many fans losing a great deal of respect for a man who they once idolised.
Aldo’s career itself hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly in the last few years either, with his defeat against Conor being compounded by yet another loss to rising star Max Holloway.
In terms of Johnson, though, it could be a good opportunity for Aldo to try and get back on the horse where a future title shot is concerned. After all, Johnson has been fighting at lightweight for quite some time now so his inexperience could prove to be a key factor for Jose if this fight were to take place.
Either way this would likely be a must win fight for both men if it goes down, which is a shame is some ways given how much potential they both have. Still, the featherweight division isn’t nearly as stacked as the lightweight division so perhaps there will be some room for leniency even if Johnson ends up losing his sixth fight in his last seven.
Another issue for some people will be that cutting to 145 pounds could prove to be tricky for Johnson, as lightweight has seemed so natural for him for so long. Whilst this does seem like a desperate move to some, we’re hoping to see him bounce back following what has been a stressful few years in his career.
On the flip side, his last opponent Gaethje is currently seeing his UFC career flourish with his debut win being followed up by an invitation to coach on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. Justin will take on Eddie Alvarez at the conclusion of TUF 26.