Tristan Johnson is getting back in the cage against an opponent he already beat.
The featherweight mixed martial artist from Jordantown is up against Will Romero again in Hamilton on Friday, Nov. 23.
Johnson defeated Romero in an unanimous decision in June 2011.
Still Johnson is preparing for the fight like the first one never happened.
“I’m not thinking of him as the same fighter as last time,” said Johnson by phone from Halifax. “We are both coming in as two different fighters— I’m thinking about this like it is the first time all over again.”
Johnson is coming off a disappointing TKO at the hands of Rick Glenn in August.
Johnson says every fighter knows anything can happen when you step in the cage.
“But I feel better than I did for my last fight,” he says. “The weight cut is going better. I feel confident.”
Johnson says he suffered last time from a lack of training partners—but that’s changed this time as he’s been training with UFC fighter T.J. Grant at Fit Plus MMA in Halifax.
His says his fans will see a more relaxed Tristan this time.
“Last time I was trying to make a statement, “ he says. “Trying to make my name known to the big show; this time I’m just going to go in and fight cause I love fighting. Any of my other fights, you watch them, you can see I’m relaxed. I let the fight come to me and I make adjustments as I have to.”
Johnson’s 7-3 record has him at fourth in Canadian Featherweight rankings, one step down from the third place ranking he had last spring before his loss to Glenn.
His opponent, Romero, has a 9-3 record and is ranked sixth but he’s on a winning streak. His last three fights have been wins—one by decision, one by knockout and the most recent by technical knockout.
Johnson is predicting a win for himself.
“No one really knows but I see me getting my hand raised,” he says. “I’m going to take the win anyway I can get it.”
The fight will be broadcast on the Score Network starting at 11 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23.