James Patrick Johnson was born in 1987 in Brooklyn, New York. The son of Willie and Vi Johnson, he is one of nine children. Johnson has six brothers and two sisters. Johnson's father is a seven-time world kickboxing champion, while his mother is a five-time kickboxing nationals champion. James holds a second-degree black belt, and he fought in his first mixed martial arts bout at age 18, winning in 97 seconds. Johnson has fought MMA matches in three different states and holds an undefeated record. He attended high school at Cheyenne East in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He played his collegiate ball at Wake Forest University. Follow Johnson on Instagram (@james16johnson_) and Twitter (iamjj16).