With an 11-0 record and accolades including former Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion and current Titan FC Bantamweight Champion, you would think that Johns would be chopping at the bit to get himself into the UFC.
But for Johns, the inevitable will happen when it happens and he is more focused on the next job to hand, which sees him defend his Titan FC strap for the first time against Anthony Gutierrez on July 18th.
“When I see others getting the shot in the UFC ahead of me I don’t get annoyed as such, as I know my time will come. I am only 23 years old and I am going to take my time to get there. I see Gutierrez as being in the way, but I don’t see myself too far away from getting the call. I do need to win every fight to get call up though and that is not easy to do.”
“I think Gutierrez is personally a few fights away from Title shot worthy but I like the match up, I was all for that fight. Gutierrez made his point of wanting the shot above everyone else. Im just excited to go out there and fight in front of the fans. I love fighting for Titan.”
The bout represents Johns second fight for the US based promotion; however, there is a much bigger audience this time round. The fight will be broadcast on the UFC’s digital network, UFC Fight Pass and as such will be available to millions worldwide. For Johns though this doesn’t change the dial either way come fight night.
“I fought for Cage Warriors for two years and there was a lot of publicity from those fights and it’s the same thing with Titan. No added pressure for me, I have one job and that is to go in and get the win. Come fight night it will be business as usual for me.”
Up until the Walel Watson fight, Johns had never spent the night before a fight anywhere other than in his own bed so a change of climate/time zone was a big factor for the young Welshman to get himself used to. The bout served as a learning point for him though which he proclaims will ensure the same result as his last trip.
“To be honest I actually found the weight cut easier in the Watson fight. I didn’t have friends and family around me I was just with my just coaches. I had no added pressure as I was just constantly in my hotel room focusing on the fight.”
“Like last time I will be getting to states about four days before the fight. However, I will get my body adjusted to the Kansas time a week before I leave. This will involve going to bed at 5am and waking up at 2pm. I see the fight happening the same as last time. I am looking to get the win, nothing else is on mind.”
One thing which has been on Johns mind in recent years is his lack of activity which is mainly due to an injury he picked up in 2014. It resulted in him only fighting on one occasion in 2014 and it would be another 11 months until he would return to action in his debut for Titan FC. He is certainly hopeful to see out 2015 with three bouts under his belt.
“I am definitely going to try and fight later on in the year. I had the worst year of my life in 2014 only fighting once. Back in 2012 including amateur fights I fought eight times. Ideally I would like to fight three or four times a year but they must all be wins otherwise it’s pointless.”
Unlike many UK stars who make it to the big promotions in MMA, Johns is definitely not looking to up sticks and move his training camp abroad and is very happy with his current set up which plays host to a number of World class talent across the various MMA disciplines.
“After the Watson fight I talked with Farah Zahabi and he offered for us to go out there. But if nothing is broke then why fix it? You know, I am still young in my career and I may come across adversity in the future which may need me to mix things up.”
“Down in Swansea I train with the likes of Ashley Williams who is the youngest BJJ black belt in the UK, a Commonwealth judo player Carl Davis. Aidan James who is off to Las Vegas representing the UK in the World Amateur Championships. Also Nathan Morgan who is an amateur boxer.”
“So I am training really hard at the minute. I leave home at 12 and come back at 9pm and in between sessions I get to go home. I enjoy doing that.”
With a full day of training on a daily basis how does a 23 year old relax in his downtime and switch off from MMA when he isn’t either at the Chris Rees Academy or at The Dragon School of Combat? Johns has a few varied hobbies which keep him entertained.
“I am a huge WRC fan but it hasn’t got any further than being a fan as unfortunately you need so much money to take part which I have looked into. After training I have my hobbies, If I trained constantly I would lose my mind which I did do once, just before my fight before Joe Orrey. It really drove me down.”
“I love WRC and the TV show Sons of anarchy. It’s just something that keeps my mind off things. I am constantly on youtube watching videos aswell on all kinds of stuff. I don’t like to watch too much MMA but when I do I take stuff from everybody. I am like a sponge and I will go to training and copy things. In fact the first day back in the gym after the Watson fight the first thing I practised was the rubber guard which he caught me in.”
With the fight fast approaching Johns is now ramping up his training to ensure that come fight night he is the best version of Brett Johns that he can be. Something which he hopes his opponent is also ready for.
“Gutierrez better be ready for this fight, I hope he is ready. At the end of day I don’t think for one minute he is going to be walkover and I hope he isn’t thinking that I am going to be. Because if he underestimates me that is going to be the worst thing he has thought of.”
Brett would like to thank “Chris Rees Academy, The Bridge and The Dragon School of Combat. Also my sponsors Booster Fightgear, Alienware and my management SukerPunch Entertainment. And lastly my good friend Ashley (Ashleigh) Williams who is sitting next to me now and wants a shout out!”