UFC on ESPN 58: No longer legally blind, Jose Johnson eyes titles in four divisions

LAS VEGAS – Jose Johnson met the media Thursday ahead of his fight at UFC on ESPN 58.

Johnson (16-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) takes on Asu Almabayev (19-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in his debut at flyweight on the ESPN main card at the UFC Apex. At the event’s media day, Johnson took questions from media members before his fight.

He said his weight cut in his first time out at 125 pounds has been smooth – and he’s already thinking about future titles not just at flyweight, but at bantamweight and featherweight, too.

But of particular interest is Johnson’s revelation that after years struggling with his vision, corrective surgery has him at a level he hasn’t experienced in MMA before.

“When I was 4 years old, I was diagnosed legally blind. It was due to birth issues,” Johnson said. “My eyes have always been my enemy. I could see that of a 78 year old man when I was 5 years old. That’s what my vision was. So I’ve always struggled with that.”

“When I was an amateur and a regional scene pro, I never fought with contacts in and I never had corrective surgery on my eyes. I fought just completely on the distance of my body, hearing footsteps, timing, everything like that. I was like the Daredevil (super hero) of MMA. … For my eyes being worse, it helped me fix my defenses. I had to be more defensively sound. Now I can be more offensively effective with me being able to see what I can.”

And his thoughts of taking out flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja before thinking about Sean O’Malley at bantamweight and Ilia Topuria at featherweight?

“Everyone’s talking to me about flyweight. We’re already talking about featherweight. That’s what we’re already discussing right now: our future plans. We’re going to dominate the 125 division, the 135 division, ’45 – and once I get a little older, if I’m still in this game, we’ll go ’55, too.”

Check out Johnson’s full media day interview in the video above.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 58.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie