Almost a year after claiming the World Martial Mania Federation cruiserweight title in South Africa, Manchester's Michael "Cobrafast" Johnson lost the world title in a May 18 rematch against South Africa's Andre "The Giant" Blignaut.

The match was the debut of professional kickboxing to Carroll.

The site was Westminster High School, and the result was a controversial unanimous decision in Blignaut's favor that brought an official protest to the WMMF from Johnson.

"I know in my heart I won," said Johnson shortly after the nine-round fight. "The people know who won the fight."

The judges didn't see it that way, however. Johnson's protest to the federation was dismissed months later as well.

The fight itself was a great one.

Johnson's quickness and agility was pitted against Blignaut's size and strength advantage. (Blignaut weighed in at 200 pounds, while Johnson weighed 175).

With both fighters predicting early-round knockouts, it was Johnson who came out quickly in round one.

After connecting with a kick to the face that resulted in Blignaut's nose bleeding profusely, Johnson ended the round with a flurry that Blignaut barely survived.

Blignaut's overpowering throws would eventually take their toll on the smaller Johnson, and judges said it was the difference in the fight. WMMF rules require at least two takedowns, or throws, per round.

Round eight proved to be the most action-packed of the fight. Johnson came out strong with a vicious kick to the ribs early, but Blignaut recovered and knocked Johnson down twice later in the round.

"He (Blignaut) hit me with his most powerful kicks, and I took it and got right back up,"Johnson said.

Johnson came back strong in the ninth and ended thefight with a flurry, but it was too little too late.

Johnson has no immediate plans to fight and says chances of his fighting in the WMMF are slim. Now, he is concentrating on promoting amateur kickboxing events in the area and running his Tae Kwon Do karate school in York, Pa.

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