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TUF 12 Finalists make weight; Perseverance paid off for Johnson

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

Michael Johnson is fired up to get his chance at the six-figure deal that the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" receives for winning the show's finale. He'll meet Jonathan Brookins tomorrow night in Las Vegas at the TUF 12 Finale. Frankly, he'd hoped the opportunity would've come sooner.

Johnson, 24, thought he would get the chance to live out his dream during Season 8 and Season 9 of the UFC's reality show. He tried out for both seasons but didn't make the final cut, but Johnson wasn't going to give up.

"In the back of my mind, I was like, you know maybe I'm not going to make this. But at the same time, I was like, OK, well, if I won't make it in the "Ultimate Fighter," my goal is to still make it in the UFC," Johnson said during the TUF 12 teleconference. "So I'm still going to train harder and continue to win fights."

After falling short two times, Johnson approached the TUF 12 tryouts with a relaxed attitude.

"And when this season tryouts came up, you know I had a week to raise the money and actually get out there, and it was just a different attitude, you know. It was more of a laidback, nonchalant, like, 'Hey, you guys, I'm still going to try out here no matter what, but I mean, I'm going to be persistent. I'm going to keep trying out until you guys pick me,'" said Johnson.

Not only was Johnson chosen for TUF 12, he was tabbed the top prospect on the show by both coaches, Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck. GSP fooled Koscheck into selecting Marc Stevens as the No. 1 overall pick. St. Pierre was able to land both Johnson and Brookins with his top picks.

SPIKE CARD (Courtesy of MMAjunkie)

Jonathan Brookins (154) vs. Michael Johnson (156)
Stephan Bonnar (205) vs. Igor Pokrajac (205)
Kendall Grove (186) vs. Demian Maia (186)
Rick Story (170) vs. Johny Hendricks (171)
Leonard Garcia (145) vs. Nam Phan (146)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Cody McKenzie (154) vs. Aaron Wilkinson (155)
Ian Loveland (145) vs. Tyler Toner (146)
Kyle Watson (156) vs. Sako Chivitchian (156)
Will Campuzano (136) vs. Nick Pace (138)*
Pablo Garza (126) vs. Fredson Paixao (125)
Rich Attonito (185) vs. Dave Branch (185)

*Pace missed weight and will be fined 20 percent of his purse.

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