cast member Michael Johnson
wanted to fight Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres from the beginning, and he finally got to step into the Octagon with his rival on Wednesday night's episode, winning a unanimous decision to advance to the Season 12 semifinals.
In his weekly interview with MMAFighting.com, Johnson discussed the fight, sticking to his game plan and how he felt about being matched up with Nam Phan in the season's semifinals.
The interview is below. Michael David Smith: You won by unanimous decision, 20-18 on all three judges' cards. Were you confident after the second round that you had won both rounds?
Michael Johnson: Yeah, I knew for sure that I had won the fight. I had taken him down so many times and stayed in a dominant position that I was sure I would get the decision. Was that your game plan, to take him down and control him on the ground? Were you happy to follow that game plan and win a decision?
That was definitely my game plan, but no, I wasn't happy. I felt like I could have done a lot better and I should have finished him. But I also didn't want to take any chances and make any mistakes, so I felt like controlling the fight from the top was the best way to win. Even though you guys had been at each other's throats in the house, you picked Alex up afterward and gave him a hug. Did you like him better after the fight than you did before?
Yeah, I gained some respect for him. I think the fight was a good way to squash whatever beef we had. Prior to the fight they showed the two of you going at it in the house again. How much of that was real and how much was just reality TV trying to create drama?
Oh, it was real. The arguments were 100 percent real. He rigged the sink and sprayed me with water and I was really upset with that. What did you think of working with Freddie Roach?
It was great working with Freddie Roach. I learned some things about myself as a fighter and he showed me how to tighten up my stand-up. Roach said you remind him of Manny Pacquiao. That's got to be nice to hear.
That was a great thing to hear that come out of Freddie Roach's mouth. Earlier I got a compliment from Mike Tyson, and now to be compared to the best boxer in the world, that was great. Were you impressed with Kyle Watson beating Aaron Wilkinson with a first-round rear-naked choke in the other fight?
I thought it was a real good fight, Kyle looked good in that fight and finished him pretty early in the first round. Watson's jiu-jitsu is great, much better than Aaron's so once he got that position I knew it would be over. Aaron was probably a little tired from the wild card fight, too. Up next you're fighting Nam Phan. How did you feel about that matchup?
I felt real good. I felt confident that my stand-up was better than his and I was confident that that was a fight where I could show everybody what I could do.Check back every Thursday to get Michael Johnson's take on the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter.