CALIFORNIA — Today we check in with Charles "InnerG" Johnson, one of the most talented and exciting young fighters in the game. The part-time pro boxer boasts an impressive MMA record of 7-2 as a pro, with five of his wins coming via stoppage. He lives and trains in Thailand and can't wait to get back in the cage soon.
How did you find MMA to begin with?
Needing to do workouts with my brother from another mother. Ken Porter asked me to help him get ready for a fight he had in two weeks. At the time I was home from college, throwing boxes on trucks at Walmart, and actively looking to transfer schools and needing something to do in my spare time. I’d never fought, only wrestled in high school, and was a collegiate track and field/cross country athlete. After a week in his mom's basement and at a local park, he asked me if I wanted to fight on the same card as him. He showed me an arm bar and triangle, defense to guillotine. A week later I was fighting the No. 7 amateur guy in Kansas City. Won by unanimous decision. The rest is history.
How do you feel about what you've accomplished so far?
Bittersweet. I love this sport and each time I learn something, I feel there is so much more for me to learn. I wish I’d gotten into martial arts at a younger age, but I’m also thankful for what I have accomplished in my athletic career.
Why do you think you've been successful in MMA?
No doubt because of the mindset my parents have instilled in me. I’ve always been a "do-it-myself" kinda human. My mom said she showed me to piss one time and after that she tried to help and I told her I got it and shut the bathroom door (laughs). I think me just having this feeling that I’m not afraid to get the tough things out of the way to achieve a better understanding of what needs to happen. I have positive self talk and I set my goals super high hoping for someone to doubt me.
How has quarantine been for you?
Much easier than most I would imagine. I can’t complain being in Thailand. It hasn’t been easy. But, who wouldn’t mind being in such a beautiful place and able to train with such a fight culture. I’m blessed. It’s been tough, but that’s the reality for everyone. I miss family the most.
How excited are you to get back in the cage?
I can’t really put it into words. It’s not really excitement, more so like It’s just this deep feeling of belonging. Like, that’s where I need to be to move forward with life, and when it happens it’ll be in the right time. I have to keep myself grounded 'cause I get myself hyped about it without knowing when or if it’s an actual possibility during this corona time (laughs). But I’m keeping the faith that something will happen soon.
What would you like to accomplish in 2020?
I would love to get a solid fight where I can get in there and get a win. And hopefully impress the right people along the way. Prove some things to myself most importantly.
How would you like to be remembered as a fighter?
That I was human. Not invincible. But with a heart that you never counted me out of a fight. And when it was over; win, lose or draw. Hopefully I impacted and inspired someone more than just being a fighter. This is a lifestyle baby!
Iridium Sports Agency is a full-service professional management firm. Founded in 2009 by attorney Jason House, Iridium represents more than 75 fighters in the UFC, Bellator and ProFightLeague. Iridium's team of agents is devoted to assisting athletes in all aspects of their professional lives.