Brett Johns: Welsh MMA ‘not tarnished’ by recent setbacks
Swansea fighter Brett Johns says recent Welsh disappointments in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) are just 'bumps in the road'.
Johns, 25, is taking on Ian Entwistle at UFC London on Saturday and believes Wales' reputation is still strong.
"I don't think it's damaged the image of Welsh MMA," he told BBC Wales Sport.
Johns continued: "If I get a win it puts us back on the straight and narrow. But even after Jack [Marshman]'s defeat in Nova Scotia, the whole world still looks at Wales and thinks 'these guys are not to be messed with'."
"It's like your football team. If Swansea lose, the fans aren't going to show up to the next game. I know my fans are loyal to me and I don't think the Welsh reputation is tarnished."
Avenging the Six Nations defeat
Johns's fight against England's Entwistle at London's O2 Arena is being billed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship as a 'Battle of Britain'.
The Welshman joked that he is aiming to 'finish the job' after his rugby counterparts' Six Nations defeat by England.
"I'm going to go out there and put on a dominant performance," Johns said.
"Ian's a dangerous character. A very dangerous opponent.
"But I believe I'm a better striker, a better wrestler and I also believe I'm a better grappler."
'I'm 13 undefeated for a reason'
Johns is undefeated in his 13 professional MMA bouts - including his UFC debut win over South Korea's Kwan Ho Kwak in Belfast in November.
As he climbs the rankings and the fights get tougher, he is only too aware of how quickly things could change.
"It's no secret that if you lose two or three fights in the UFC, you're out," he said.
"So if you've got to make your stamp when you're in. Maybe this fight I'll have to be more careful because there's more to risk."
Early in his career, Johns had to sleep in his gym because he could not afford the bus ticket home and now he is determined not to have to return to those darker days.
"One of my biggest fears in this game is losing and not having all this fuss around me," he admitted.
"I always said I wanted to win my first fight and I didn't care about the second. Now I want to win my second fight I don't care about the third or fourth.
"It's always going to be like that for me. I'm 13 undefeated for a reason - I hate losing."