I am starting a movement. UFC 174 will be coming to Vancouver on June 14, 2014. I fully expect to see the likes of Rory MacDonald and a few other Canadians on the card. One warrior that should be involved is “Ragin” Kajan Johnson (19-10-1) who has been a big part of the latest Ultimate Fighter reality show, TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia seen on Wednesdays via Sportsnet360 here in Canada.
The Burns Lake, B.C. native was my pick to win the show, but unfortunately was knocked out by teammate and good friend Chad Laprise (7-0) in the semi-finals. Don’t get me started on how Team Canada coach Patrick Cote dropped the ball in how he handled Canadian teammates, good friends and Tristar training partners fighting each other. Cote lacked any real professional leadership and it should have been a no brainer to make sure both fighters were treated fairly and had equal amount of corners and training support. Instead Johnson was left with one person in his corner and it appeared to viewers he was treated like an outsider. Kajan wrote about this very issue in his blog on MMAJunkie.com.
Spoiler alert for those of you who are PVR’ing the series. It was a pretty close fight until Laprise came over the top with a vicious right hand that landed flush on Johnson’s jaw. The sound still resonates. Pop! Johnson fell to the mat and the fight was stopped. There was no real cheering from the fighters who witnessed one of the most brutal and heart breaking knock-outs in TUF history.
Kajan’s jaw was broken and as blood poured out of his mouth the only thing that he could spit out was, “I just didn’t want to go through this again. I didn’t want my face to break again,” a teary-eyed Johnson said. “I didn’t want to lose the biggest fight of my life…It’s just another test. I just don’t know why I’m tested so much.” It was an emotional moment where reality became almost too painful to watch. Johnson asked UFC President Dana White for the toughest fight in the semifinals and the President obliged by giving Kajan his teammate and good friend. It was a reminder that we were watching a well produced TV show and drama always rules the day.
Fast forward to the present and Kajan is healed up and ready to fight. “If there is one thing I’m great at its overcoming adversity,” Johnson said. “Not only do I now have a titanium jaw I also have Wolverine’s mutant healing powers. I’m about to mount the biggest comeback you’ve ever seen. It’s MY time!”
The twenty-nine year old MMA veteran wants his moment to be in his hometown of Vancouver in front of his family, friends and fans. “I need to be on the 174 card. Vancity needs a hero,”Johnson said. “I want to be that person. I want to show every kid that came up in B.C. that we can do anything we put our minds to.”
It would be a small marketing miss if the UFC does not grant Kajan his shot in front of his hometown. What is the point of putting on a “reality show” targeting Canadian and Australian viewers if you aren’t going to use some of the characters that we got to know over the last couple of months? It wouldn’t be the first time that a competitor from the TUF show got a shot fighting on the preliminary card somewhere. Johnson stood out on the show and provided some personality to go along with his talent. The guy has been through so much adversity that most guys in his shoes would have given up on the dream years ago. Not Kajan. Instead he is back to training and keeping the dream alive and doing so with his Cheshire Cat smile.
In the end, the UFC doesn’t owe Kajan anything but you know that he is the type of guy that they like. He is a fighter in the truest sense of the word and Johnson has been fighting his entire life. If the UFC can offer Nordine Taleb another shot, they sure as hell can give Kajan his moment in the sun.
Let your voice be heard and let the UFC and UFC Canada know you want to see “Ragin” Kajan Johnson in the Octagon at UFC 174 in Vancouver by signing our fun petition below. Thanks to everyone and let’s see what we can do.