Middle school teacher returns to the MMA ring this May

Tyler Johnson, an eighth grade reading teacher at Westport Middle School, is returning to the ring as an MMA fighter in May.

For one Springfield mixed martial arts competitor, fighting has been a part of his life since childhood.

Known as “Tyler the Cage Fighter,” Tyler Johnson, 35, began MMA in 2005 and over the years has stepped away from the sport to prioritize other aspects of his life, including his education. However, this May, after a sevenyear hiatus, he is returning to the ring.

Today, Johnson is an eighth grade reading teacher at Westport Middle School.

His passion for literature transcends into multiple areas of his life. He compared his MMA career to a book with three chapters, which outline how he got started, fighting while studying to become a teacher and his future.

Chapter one: Earning his badge of honor

Johnson and his brother were raised by their mother on the west side of Springfield. Johnson said his neighborhood, which included low income households and high poverty rates, impacted him and his peers.






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