Tim Johnson, a former Minnesota National Guard sergeant whose well-traveled UFC career visited its third continent on Saturday night in Brazil, took out an unbeaten hometown heavyweight prospect via unanimous decision to improve to 12-4 as a mixed martial artist.
Johnson ground down the smaller Marcelo Golm on Saturday night as part of the Fox Sports 1 main card, surviving Golm’s strikes and showing off wrestling and cage-control skills to earn the victory. He’s alternated wins and losses since his 2015 debut in the UFC and now sits at 4-3 in the promotion.
Golm, a favorite in front of his home-nation crowd, fell to 6-1.
Johnson, 32, made some headlines in the MMA community prior to the fight when his crowdfunding campaign to fly two fight-team members to Brazil for the bout (a campaign he’d planned to share only with friends and family members, he told Military Times) was reported by multiple MMA news outlets. He said he plans to donate leftover funds from the campaign to a military-themed charity.
The heavyweight called the Brazil event an “insane environment” in a post-fight Instagram post. Previous international fights have taken Johnson, who deployed to Kuwait while in uniform, to London, Northern Ireland and Croatia.
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.