A lightweight encounter between Michael Johnson and Edson Barboza has been announced as the co-main event for UFC Fight Night 61 in Porto Alegre, Brazil on February 22nd.
Johnson is currently riding a three-fight winning streak, defeating respected opponents like Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau and Melvin Guillard along the way to establish himself as a significant player in the lightweight ranks.
However, he’s been out of action since March and it’s only now emerged that the reason for that was due to a domestic dispute that took place in April resulting in a charge of ‘simple battery’. That resulted in ‘The Menace’ being temporarily suspended by the UFC while a full third-party investigation took place, and with that now having been completed he’s been cleared to fight again.
“The UFC will continue to monitor Johnson’s status. He must fully comply with the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and all other contractual and additional obligations in order to continue competing in the UFC,” a statement from the UFC read.
During Johnson’s absence, Barboza has notched up two victories in the Octagon over Evan Dunham and Bobby Green, and with five wins in his last six fights he’s risen to No.6 in the divisional rankings.
UFC Fight Night 61 will be headlined by a light-heavyweight bout featuring former champion Rashad Evans going up against Glover Teixeira, with Barboza Vs Johnson installed as the co-main event.