The question of who Johnson would compete under at the World Championship has been a mystery as the athlete has remained in New Mexico following his sudden departure from New York, where he formerly trained at Unity. Johnson initially stated that he would be attending rehab in New Mexico after Kasai 5 had finished, and since he relocated, he’s been taking advantage of the training opportunities in the area, reportedly visiting Gracie Barra academies in the Albuquerque and El Paso, TX areas.
As a “BJJ nomad,” Johnson initially tried to follow in Keenan Cornelius’ footsteps by signing up for Worlds under the BJJ Globetrotters “team,” which provides affiliation for jiu-jitsu athletes who frequently travel or don’t have a home base. However, as Johnson (who has not been arrested or charged with a crime) is currently facing accusations of sexual assault, Globetrotters leader Christian Graugart stated that the organization “would not be providing affiliation as long as the case is running/not cleared.” When asked by the Jiu-Jitsu Times for confirmation of the decision, Graugart replied, “Confirmed. Not really a ‘company rule’ more than I would just call it ‘common sense.'”
In a social media post, Johnson thanked multiple Gracie Barra professors, including Roberto Alencar, Rafael Freitas, Francisco De Leon, Jeff Vigil, and Saulo Ribeiro for their support.