Tristan Johnson is getting set to climb another rung on his way to the top of the featherweight ladder.
The mixed martial artist from Jordantown is back in the cage at the Hamilton Place Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 25 against Rick “The Gladiator” Glenn (10-2-1) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“I’m comfortable where ever this fight goes,” says Johnson. “This is the first fight I’ve ever said that before. Obviously I like standing up and banging away but if he takes it down, I’m ready for that.”
Johnson, 28, with a 7-2 record, has done some serious training since his last fight nine months ago.
He trained in Brazil for two and a half weeks last November with a UFC world champ Jose Aldo and other UFC fighters such as Diego Nunez, TJ Grant, Luis Ramos, Marlon Sandro, Amilcar Alves and Ronys Torres.
“Training with so many great fighters I could really feel myself getting better everywhere,” says Johnson. “My ground fighting, wrestling and striking, it all improved. I've learned a few new tricks for sure, being down there training with that much talent.”
After Brazil he went to Egypt where he worked on nothing but jiu jitsu for a month.
Johnson comes from a boxing background but proved his ground game last October against fellow featherweight Lyndon Whitlock.
Early in the first round Whitlock took the fight to the mat but Johnson used his then newly-acquired jiu jitsu skills to fight his way out of hold after hold. Late in the first Johnson knocked Whitlock to the ground with a left hook.
The referee stopped the fight after Whitlock, who had ‘turtled’ or curled up in a ball, was unable to defend himself or improve his situation on the ground.
“I’m coming to show everybody at 145 (lbs), I’m not just a striker anymore,” said Johnson after that fight.
Before that win Johnson earned a unanimous decision against Will Romero.
Johnson’s opponent next week, Rick Glenn, hasn’t lost in eight fights.
He trains with Duke Roufus, one of the world’s best striking coaches.
Glenn was 15-1 as an amateur in MMA and has stopped nine of his opponents before the final bell.
The match will be live on the Score network on Saturday night, Aug. 25
[ Related: Tristan Johnson proves his ground game , Oct. 2011]