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How Raymond Johansson became a MMA fan favorite: “There’s a touch of Peaky Blinders about me”

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Raymond Johansson. Photo Patrik Persson

Since his pro debut in August 2022, Raymond Johansson quickly established himself as a fan favorite in the Swedish MMA scene.

With his big smile, ‘Brad-Pitt-in-Snatch-look’ and violent fighting style, the featherweight prospect won the hearts of many fight fans around the country.

“I think it’s partly because I’m a traveller. I’m a bit of an outsider and I’m very proud to show that. There’s a touch of Peaky Blinders about me,” Johansson tells Frontkick when asked about his popularity.

“My documentary on SVT did a lot for me, too. I was open and honest in it, that’s just the way I am. I’m always happy. I show that I love to fight. Many fighters act tough but I’m all smiles.”

“Isn’t it weird that fighters want to finish the fight quickly?”

Even though his two pro wins both came via first-round stoppage, the violent featherweight genuinely loves every second in the cage. In fact, he has no understanding for his colleagues who want to finish the fights as quickly as possible.

“Isn’t it weird that fighters want to finish the fight quickly? I mean, we train so hard to get into the cage and once they get in there they want to get out? But sure, it’s a great feeling when you knock out someone quick, too.”

Johansson stops to think for a second before he continues.

“For me it’s the raw emotion of the fight that is the rush. To be the one to not back down, I just love that. It was a great feeling to see my opponent Waltteri Hakkinen’s eyes turn from conquest to anxiety, like ‘what the fuck is happening here’. I just love when my opponent goes from confident to hopeless. It’s a very powerful feeling.”

Raymond’s do or die fighting style often labels him as most of all a warrior in the cage, but that’s something he’s not completely on board with.

“I have a hard time understanding the compliment ‘ you are a warrior’. Like, what else are you supposed to do in the cage? Give up?! I rather hear that I did a great performance!”

Raymond Johansson MMA Frontkick

Photo: Patrik Persson

Raymond Johansson fights on Battle of Botnia

On June 8, Raymond Johansson returns to take on veteran Robert “Fat Bobby” Nyström at Battle of Botnia in Luleå. Fighting in Norrland is a dream come true for Johansson who has a good impression by both the organization and the region’s MMA fans.

“It’s something kind of medieval to go up to the north of Sweden to fight. The northerners like violence,” Johansson says. “The Battle of Botnia crowd is so loud and they will be even louder when we fight in Luleå.”

Read more: Linn Sandström talks World Title fight and crazy comeback in Thailand: “Panic!”


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