Though he’s remained undefeated in his first seven fights as a pro, lightweight prospect Wade “Hammer” Johnson has not had success come easily.
Particularly, Johnson’s most recent outings have proven to be his most difficult to date.
“My last three fights were against really tough guys – some guys who are real good at the stuff that I’m not – and I’ve still come out on top,” said Johnson. “I’ve just been pretty much testing myself as much as I can to get myself ready for the best around.”
Johnson’s last fight, against Codie Shuffield in June, was particularly difficult because he was far from healthy going into the bout.
“For that one, to be honest with you, I had the worst training camp I’ve ever had,” Johnson told MMAWeekly.com.
“I’d actually had a fracture in my shoulder, I had a tear in my tendon, and I messed up my knee two weeks before, so I was nowhere near 100-percent going into the fight, but took it anyway because it was a big opportunity.”
Johnson is pleased that he proved that he could face adversity and go deep into a fight to pull out a victory.
“What I’m real known for is not having any quit in me,” said Johnson. “I’ll go as long as I have to.
“Actually, I’d never been five rounds with anybody until those last two fights. It helps me knowing I can go five, five-minute rounds if I have to.”
With his solid start, Johnson (7-0) has earned a step up to a national promotion and will make his Legacy FC debut on Friday in Tunica, Miss., against fellow promotional newcomer Thomas Gifford (8-6).
“I’ve wanted this fight for a long time and it’s been a long time in the making” said Johnson. “Thomas has got really good stand-up and has an awesome ground game because he’s super-flexible, so he’s dangerous in both ways.
“I can’t let him fight his fight, because if I do, it’s going to be a real tough fight. I’ve got to come out and fight my fight, and if I do that, then it should be as easy as training.”
Johnson feels a win over Gifford will help get him noticed and open more doors in the future.
“I just want to put on a good show,” said Johnson. “If I show up and make an impressive finish or an all-out war, it will show people that I’ve got talent and will make them look at me closer.”