DaMarques Johnson – Jumping In The Deep End

DaMarques JohnsonDaMarques Johnson is no stranger to challenges.Growing up in Utah with his younger sister, Nikia Johnson, he braved his surroundings and sought his way in the world.

“I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah and like I didn’t grow up on the best part of the town but it was nothing horrible, I mean.Single parent home but it was good not horrible but it could have always been worst I guess.”

Sports always came naturally to Johnson and like a born athlete Johnson tried most of the popular ones.Team sports were the first choice and athleticism and skill weren’t an issue for him.However, the balance of sports and school was a challenge that Johnson couldn’t seem to conquer.

“I played like Little League Football, I played basketball in high school but never real organized I was always kind of like a pick up game player.I never really maintained the grades good enough to stay on the team.I mean I made the basketball team but got in trouble for grades. I made the wrestling team but got in trouble for fighting so its always been kind of a balancing act that I was never really good at but I’ve gotten better at it.”

Then Johnson’s life to a turn towards the U.S. military where at 17 the new enlistee had to wait until the day he turned 18 to leave and the day he graduated, Johnson took off for adventure.Almost immediately Johnson was paired with the Special Forces and began playing the role of the bad guy in simulated battle situations.It was these scenarios that sparked a career in fighting and a trip to a local jiu-jitsu school cemented the deal.

Starting his professional fighting career at the suggestion of friend, Jeremy Horn, Johnson began his first two pro bouts on the losing end.A new trend of jumping at seemingly daunting challenges ensued with a first round TKO loss to veteran Paul Purcell to start.Next Johnson jumped right into the deep end of the pool against Brock Larson who at the time had a myriad of fights against the toughest competitors.Johnson lost by third round key lock submission but his desire to challenge himself in the sport grew.

“Depending on what record you look at it shows me starting off like 0-2 but there were a couple fights that weren’t on there.My first fight was against Paul Purcell and that guy had a lot of experience and, I don’t know it was kind of like I just started off climbing into the deep end of the pool.I don’t know at the time he had like 25 fights, it was my first fight ever.So I lost that one and then I came back and I won the next fight and then I fought Brock Larson who at the time was 15-0 (deadpans)?I don’t know I was just kind of taking tough fights you win some you lose some.Experience is huge and if I was under the proper guidance at the time I could have probably started off and taken some amateur fights or something like that but at that time I had zero fights against guys with way more experience than me and doing all right but, it was just one of those things.Experience is huge in the sport.”

On the eve of UFC 107, Johnson faces yet another challenge in Edgar Garcia. As a tough as nails competitor who is looking to get back on the winning track, Johnson will have his hands full in the home of the blues, Memphis, Tennessee.

“I think he’s fast, I think he’s pretty strong from what I’ve seen and I think he’s a tough guy, I think he’s a really tough opponent. You can never really know his weaknesses until you get in there.My job is to get in there and figure out where he’s coming up short at, exploit it and whoever can figure that out first is probably going to win.”

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