Friday, November 30th, American bantamweight prospect Miles Johns will be in action in Texas, headlining LFA 55. He will be competing against fellow prospect Adrian Yanez in the main event, as Johns looks to inch closer to a UFC contract and score LFA bantamweight gold. Johns represents the criminally underrated Fortis MMA, a camp in Texas that has been on a tear lately in terms of getting fighters into the UFC. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Simple, Effective Striking: There isn’t anything particularly flashy or uber-sexy about Johns when he’s on the feet, but what he does throw is very effective. He keeps combos simple and throws intelligently based on his opponent’s defense. His punches do damage, as he tends to throw with great power. That said, his striking can be a bit easy to scout. When they start to catch on to Johns’ routine, he does a great job of using hands to set up takedowns. So, all things considered, he’s an intelligent striker who doesn’t overdo it.
Explosiveness: One thing you can always notice when Johns fights is that he is a very explosive, athletic fighter. His takedowns are done with absolute authority and he get good pop when throwing punching combinations. If you look at him, he’s physically gifted and it shows when he grabs a hold of his opponent. He is usually physically stronger and can dictate where he wants to put his opponent in the clinch. In strenuous fights, he could wear down because does carry a good amount of muscle, but he’s only 135, so his cardio is better than other muscular guys in higher weight divisions.
Pressure from Top Position: One thing I noticed on the film is that Johns has no problem getting guys down, but he does have some issues keeping guys on their back. In his fight with Eliazar Rodriguez, he scored a couple takedowns on Rodriguez, but was unable to keep him on this back. That means he needs to apply more pressure from the top. That includes using more measured ground-and-pound to soften him up and more tactical positioning. Summed up, he needs to be more active when he gets guys down (does have some submissions, but could be improved).
Striking Intangibles: We said a strength of Johns was his simple, effective striking, but there are aspects to his on-the-feet acumen that could use some further work. He needs to use better head movement defensively, as he can be easy to hit with punches. Sometimes, his footwork can get a bit sloppy, which makes finding angles on combinations more difficult. If he closes up those holes, in addition to using more feints, his striking will be very hard to opponents to deal with, even more so than it already is.
UFC Prelim Fighter: At 7-0, clearly Johns has a future in the big leagues. He’s getting better from fight to fight, so if he continues his current ascent, he has the potential to stick around the UFC for some time. That said, bantamweight is an absolute shark tank right now, and with the flyweight division on its way out and top flyweights moving up to the bantamweight division, it will be a crowded division full of killers. So, I think Johns will stick around the UFC for a while, but will likely be a career curtain jerker, not that there’s anything wrong with that.