After Wednesday night's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter," we now know that the show will be co-headlined by Jonathan Brookins vs. Michael Johnson. Other bouts have also been added to the card: WEC veteran Leonard Garcia will fight Nam Pham while TUF 12 castmembers Aaron Wilkinson and Cody McKenzie will face off and Sako Chivitchian will fight Kyle Watson.
Johnson's stock was hot early in the season, as Georges St. Pierre even played some mind games with Josh Koscheck so that GSP could have Johnson on his team. At 24 years old, he's young, loaded with talent and has a good base in wrestling. He has a beautiful blast double takedown that proved to be hard to stop.
Still, he clearly has a lot to learn about fighting, as he ate many strikes during his bout with Nam Phan. His movement is slow and plodding, and he has an odd tendency of ducking strikes instead of trying to check, catch or block them. With his short, squat frame, ducking punches doesn't really work.
Despite being a fighter who fought UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo and lived to tell about it, Brookins wasn't as sought after. That's hard to believe when looking at how his skills progressed and how dominant he was on the show. He choked out Sevak Magakian, rear naked choked Sako Chivitchian and then to get in the final, dominated teammate Kyle Watson.
Brookins has a nasty submission game, which could prove to be a problem for Johnson. All four of Johnson's losses before the show came by submission. Brookins also has more experience of the bright lights of a big promotion, having fought both in Bellator and in the WEC.
What do you think? Will Johnson's raw talent trump Brookins' calm but deadly ground game?