Jamal Johnson has been caged up and hemmed in for too long, and the time to free the dawg has arrived. Johnson is willing to do whatever it takes to get the action rolling even if that means taking a multi-state drive to hand out the smoke.
The proud “B More” representative launched out from his native city on Thursday afternoon with a dance ticket to scrap undefeated Joel Madak at Showcase MMA 22 in Greenville, South Carolina. The long drive, mixed with finishing his cut to the bantamweight limit has Johnson locked on full go in the lead up to fight night.
“I’m not driving all this way to wait around for anything,” Johnson told Spectation Sports. “I’m going in there to get after it and I’m bringing violence from the jump. I think my opponent approaches things the same way, but if he goes in there trying to clinch up and hold onto me I’m going to make it worse on him.
“I’m like a dog that’s been caged up and mistreated for a long time. I’m finally getting off the leash, off the chain and I’m ready to take out this aggression. I’m going in there to tear this dude up, and I plan to put on a show while I’m going it. I know my opponent a little truck, but he’s not seen or dealt with anything like me or someone willing to go as far as I need to go in a fight. He’s never dealt with that before and I don’t think he’s going to handle it well.”
The socio-economical and narcotic plagues that have befallen Johnson’s hometown have been well documented over the past three decades as Baltimore laid claim to one of the highest crime rates in the country. Johnson isn’t going to sugar coat the truth about his stomping grounds, but believes there are benefits from coming from the type of environment “Charm City” provides.
“I’m from Baltimore and I come to shoot or get shot,” Johnson said. “I represent that city and they can love me or hate me there, doesn’t change how the job is getting done inside the cage. I got into martial arts basically for self-defense because my city is as rough as they come, and over time it just got good to me. I started to see a future in it so that’s what I started pursuing, but none of that happens without a love for mixing it up.”
While Johnson is quick to point out the COVID pandemic for slowing down the momentum of his career, he also was quick to point out the lack of promotional opportunities in the greater DC and Beltway areas. Therefore the hard-charging bantamweight has to strike out on the road to find the types of fights he needs and credits the surging star power of Showcase MMA for giving him a shot.
“I think it’s great what’s been going on at Showcase,” Johnson said. “I’ve fought with some of the guys on this card before and they just had the most recent winner of The Ultimate Fighter come out of that promotion. Everyone I’ve worked with there has been great and I’m looking forward to a long relationship with them. I plan to put on a show, get this guy put away and onto the next one quick. I’m putting on for everyone that has supported me from my teams at Ugly Muscle Nutrition, MMA Tee Company, Maadish Apparel and my gym College Park Mixed Martial Arts.
“Last but not least I’m doing it for Baltimore. Time to show what coming from the struggle can do.”