Michael Johnson admits he is still “brewing” over his defeat to Nate Diaz ahead of his lightweight bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night 94.
Johnson lost by a unanimous decision to Diaz last December, with his victor going on to secure two multi-million dollar fights against Conor McGregor.
And the 30-year-old admits the missed opportunity, which could have opened a route for the lightweight title still plays on his mind as he prepares to make his return to the Octagon following an absence of over nine months.
“Every loss is tough. Everybody deals with it in a certain way but it’s definitely still brewing on me, especially when that was so close,” Johnson told FOX Sports when speaking about the Diaz fight.
“Then to see him go on and beat (Conor) McGregor and make all this money, that just makes it burn even more. I’m really just been getting in here and training and having that mindset that I need to jump to this next level. I need to go in there and put on a great performance and everything will fall into place.
“Not too caught up on the loss but it’s definitely still there.”
Johnson will faces a tough task to return to winning ways in Texas on Saturday night, with Poirier having won all four of his fights since moving back to lightweight from featherweight.
Poirier, 27, has won three of those fights by knockout or TKO, although Johnson has doubts about his opponents achievements.
“He’s beating guys who are not in the top of the division,” he said. “He rattled off four wins in a row. Bobby Green, he wasn’t there, I don’t know what he was doing.
“His other ones are good but the thing is he hasn’t fought Michael Johnson yet. That’s what he’s forgetting.
“He’s thinking he’s untouchable, he thinks he’s beaten great guys. No. He hasn’t fought anybody that fights like me. He hasn’t fought anybody that moves like me. It’s going to be very difficult for him.”