But even though Koscheck had the first pick, it was St. Pierre who used a little deception to trick Koscheck into bypassing Johnson when the two picked their teams. That resulted in Johnson going to Team GSP, which is where he said he wanted to go.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com, Johnson talked about how he felt learning that St. Pierre wanted him above all the other fighters, and about some friction with his teammate, Alex "Bruce Leroy" Cacares, who won the fight on the second episode of Season 12.
Michael David Smith: You said you were hoping to fight on GSP's team, rather than Koscheck's team. Why was that?
Just because he's one of the best fighters in the world. He and I have also both trained in some of the same Gracie Barra jiu jitsu programs and I like that background.
How happy were you to be GSP's first pick?
It made me feel really good. I was definitely surprised. I was nervous going into the picks. I had a little bit of a feeling I might be able to be the first person taken but I really wasn't sure.
Koscheck said he ranked you at the top of his list and thought you were the best athlete on the show as well, although he didn't take you first because GSP tricked him about his own intentions.
I didn't know that Koscheck ranked me first, actually. That feels pretty good to know, but I'm definitely glad GSP was the one who took me. Not that I don't think Koscheck is good, I would have been honored to learn from him, too, but I thought GSP could improve more holes in my game.
What was the first practice session with Team GSP like?
I felt anxious working out with those guys before. I never had a chance to work out with Greg Jackson who's one of the best coaches in MMA and that seemed like such a huge opportunity to improve myself.
What did you think when you first moved into the house?
I loved it. It was incredible. I live in a three-bedroom house. This was a mansion.
Alex Cacares, one of your teammates who's better known as Bruce Leroy, beat Jeffrey Lentz with a triangle choke in the first fight. Were you cheering for him as your teammate?
I was cheering for Alex -- I call him Alex. I don't buy into that Bruce Leroy stuff. He introduces himself as Bruce Leroy but I call him Alex. That was a point where me and him got along and I was cheering for him.
I take it you didn't get along with him later?
You'll have to watch the show to see that.
Check back every Thursday morning for Johnson's take on the previous night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 12. For last week's entry, click here.