Despite riding a three-fight winning streak, it will, however, have been nearly a year since he last fought by the time Johnson steps into the Octagon in Porto Alegre. And now we know why.
Johnson has been ineligible for the largest part of 2014 due to having been arrested for his involvement in a domestic dispute in Florida, according to UFC officials. Johnson was arrested by Delray Beach police and booked on April 9 on a charge of Battery – Strike or Touch, according to Palm Beach County, Fla. arrest records. He was later released on a $1,000 bond.
“UFC lightweight Michael Johnson was ineligible to compete in the UFC organization following his arrest regarding a domestic dispute in Palm Beach County, Florida in April 2014,” read a UFC statement on Monday.
“Given that the allegations against Johnson constituted a potential violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy, the UFC organization temporarily barred Johnson from competition pending the completion of a third-party investigation. Following a thorough review and investigation—including personal interviews with Johnson and independent confirmation that he has satisfied all obligations required by the UFC—Johnson is once again eligible to compete and will begin training for his next fight at UFC Fight Night: Evans vs. Teixeira in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
“The UFC will continue to monitor Johnson’s status. He must fully comply with the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and all other contractual and additional obligations in order to continue competing in the UFC.
“All UFC athletes are required to comply with the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy they signed along with their fight contract. The UFC organization will not tolerate any violation of its Fighter Conduct Policy. The organization is committed to thoroughly investigating all allegations and taking the appropriate action when warranted.”
Johnson last fought in March, when he defeated Melvin Guillard. That victory came on the heels of back-to-back wins over Joe Lauzon and Gleison Tibau. A victory over Barboza in Brazil would likely put Johnson in the mix of lightweight contender talk.