Johnston zeroes in on fight night

Christopher Gooding
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Outside of the cage, some of Brian “Zero” Johnston’s biggest challengers – (back, from left) River Gooding, Mason Sutherland and Johnston’s son Trey – compete for his attention away from training in the lead-up to his Saturday bout in Halifax.

SPRINGHILL – It’s been almost a year since Brian “Zero” Johnston’s last mixed martial arts bout and another two years before his previous one.

Johnston’s an MMA fighter cut from a different cloth, where seasonal work dictates not only his training schedule, but if he will even find a fight before his phone rings and is told another season of construction is calling.

It makes for a lot of unknowns, but his love of the sport and fitness makes his approach somewhat unique, he said.

“I start training without even knowing if I have to fight,” Johnson said. “I keep things well rounded and train to fight anybody and everybody.”

Training out of Springhill Mixed Martial Arts, Johnston found his first professional win over Jeff Black. It was an emotional victory for Johnston, who had waited almost three years to recover his record from a loss to Ryan Gallant.

Now facing Titans MMA’s Tyler Lee on this Saturday’s ECC main card at the Halifax Forum, Johnston hasn't changed his training regiment one bit. Where other fighters try to pick their opponents’ games apart, Johnston is focused on being well rounded.

“I don’t care who he is,” Johnston said. “I have one shot a year and I don’t care if I win or lose. I just care about the people buying the tickets, putting on the best fight I can for them, and challenging myself.”

For more on ECC’s Rise of Champions card, visit

Organizations: Halifax Forum

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