Being caught in the shadow of family can be an inescapable curse, but for Elijah Johns, being “Miles Johns’” little brother doesn’t mean he’s only “Miles Johns’ little brother.”
Making his amateur debut at LFA 1, Johns has become one of LFA’s most known featherweights. After fighting twice outside the promotion, Johns has gotten comfortable inside the LFA cage. Now a 7-2 professional fighter, Johns says he’s ironed out nearly every aspect of the sport, even the fight before the fight.
“I’m getting better and better at cutting weight,” Johns said. “I think I’m at the weight I’m going to be at for a while. Those guys at lightweight are big boys. It’s a big difference between featherweight and lightweight and it feels like featherweight is the weight I’m going to be.”
Not only is Johns physically ready for the big time, but he explains that having an older brother with a 3-1 UFC record as a mentor has given him a mental edge over most UFC FIGHT PASS prospects.
“I’ve watched him grow up as a fighter and as a wrestler and he’s shown me how to carry myself as a fighter and do a lot of the things other fighters don’t have,” Johns said. “It’s almost like a cheat code I had since I came into the game.”
Johns explains that some might see being the younger sibling serving as a negative, as nobody has forgotten Conor McGregor labeling Nate Diaz “Nick’s little brother,” but just as Nate would, Johns is ready to ride for his brother’s army.
And there’s only so long you can remain the B-side before you steal the show.
“I don’t take offense to people saying I’m living in his shadow,” Johns said. “I’m at a prestigious gym, Fortis MMA, and he’s gotten me to the place I’m at in the game so it’s not a bad shadow to live in. I just know that I’ll be going my own path.”
If being the brother of a 12-1 performance bonus machine and possibly the next Diaz Army are your biggest problems, Elijah Johns is a lucky man and he knows it.
“It’s a nice comparison because of the toughness and the self-reliance that the Diaz Brothers have,” Johns said. “It’s almost like it’s them two versus the world in a way. I feel like me and my brother have that, but we’re from different backgrounds and we’re going to make a bigger impact on the fight game.”
Despite his pride in his brother’s accomplishments and his last name, don’t expect to see a carbon copy of Miles when Elijah enters the cage. They may be brothers, but their fight styles are somehow a completely different species.
“He’s a boxer and a wrestler,” Johns said. “I like to throw kicks and I obviously do wrestle, but I like kicking, kind of freestyle, and I have kind of an unorthodox style where his is a lot more technical. He’s a technical boxer. He’s shorter so he likes to get in and chop people down. I’m longer so I like to establish my range.”
Johns is already making waves in one of the top promotions out there. Can a strong performance at LFA land him in the UFC Octagon by year’s end? Only time will tell.
Catch the return of Elijah Johns at LFA 121 LIVE Friday, January 14, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!