For the third time in five UFC fights, heavyweight Tim Johnson's gear bag will need to include a passport.
Johnson, a former Minnesota National Guard sergeant who dropped a split decision to Russian Alexander Volkov in November in Belfast, Northern Ireland, will face Poland's Daniel Omielanczuk on March 18 in London as part of a UFC Fight Night card.
Johnson confirmed the news on his Instagram account while debating his facial hair options for the fight — his mustache caught the eye of Brian Stann, Marine veteran and UFC commentator, during his debut with the promotion and has been a calling card ever since.
The heavyweight defeated another Polish fighter, Marcin Tybura, in April in Croatia. Johnson's 12-3 on his career and an even 2-2 in UFC action. Omielanczuk (19-6, 4-3 UFC) last fought in October, losing by submission to the 7-foot Stefan Struve, who is 11th in the latest UFC heavyweight rankings.
Johnson gave his personal theory on his frequent European trips during an interview with Military Times prior to the Belfast fight.
"I think it’s that they don’t mind looking at a chubby guy out there," he said. "America, they ridicule me. ‘This guy’s so out of shape, he should have a six-pack.’ I’m like, ‘I’m 265 pounds. I’m sorry. Six-pack’s not going to happen. ... Over there, they’re a little more acceptable of a little flab on the side."
The card's main event and final broadcast plans have not been announced.
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.