Over the course of a year and a half, featherweight prospect Elijah Johns has quickly made his way through MMA from just starting in the sport to getting in his first couple bouts.
“I had my amateur and pro debut in the same year,” Johns told MMAWeekly.com. “I had my second pro fight as well, so I had three fights this year. I just dove into this sport. The progression has just been amazing. I keep getting better in the gym, and the results just show.”
Initially Johns had not expected to move so quickly up the ranks, but thanks to the work put in by his brother, Miles, he’s been able to do just that.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have my brother have his career first and bringing me in not only as a brother, but with a pupil and mentor dynamic,” said Johns. “It’s advanced my career and is kind of a fast-forward career. I took it for what it was and rode the wave. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s nothing I was going to shy away from.
“When he’s bringing me up it’s all disciple, fundamentals, the right way, and that’s always how things have to go,” Johns said. “I’m grateful for it. I don’t think it’s for everybody, honestly, and it’s our path to follow, but I like it. I know this sport is not forgiving, so I’d rather take the hard route than the easy route.”
At LFA 47 this Friday in Dallas, Texas, Johns (2-0) will look to keep his undefeated ways going when he takes on Eddie Brown (4-1) in a main card 145-pound bout.
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“He trains a lot of Jiu-Jitsu and wants to get it to the ground,” Johns said of Brown. “I’m a wrestler – that’s my background – but I’ve evolved as a striker. I feel I can defend the takedown and keep it on the feet. I’ll put a pressure and pace on him that he can’t handle. It’s going to be a new look for him.”
While Johns is someone to take things as they come, he does want to finish out the year as actively as he possibly can.
“I’m definitely looking one step at a time,” Johns said. “I don’t look too far ahead, but I stay ready year-round.
“This fight was brought to me on short notice, but I’ve been in the gym training. I stay ready year-round, so if there’s something that comes up afterwards, I’m not going to shy away from it. I love this game and everything about it. If an opportunity comes up, I’ll definitely seize it.”