No fighter wants to feel the sting of being released by the UFC but, in the case of Anthony Johnson, it may have ultimately been a good thing. “Rumble” was issued a pink slip after losing to Vitor Belfort in January, though the defeat was secondary in terms of why the 28-year old was kicked to the curb, as Johnson struggled to make weight in a number of his fights, even failing in some attempts including the bout with Belfort.
Johnson has since picked up a pair of wins and is looking to add a third next Friday night when he faces fellow UFC veteran Jake Rosholt at XFN 9. However, more importantly, it will be his second fight since moving up to light heavyweight rather than doing a disservice to his body (and fans/promoters) by cutting to 170-185 pounds.
“My body just matured more, and I started packing on more muscle, and it just got harder and harder, day by day, to lose the weight. After not making 185, the light bulb came on over my head, and I knew it was time to do something different. I’m happy with the decision I made,” said Jonson in an interview with Bloody Elbow.
The 12-4 Jonson is extremely confident entering the fight and feels success at the event could earn him another run inside the Octagon, especially with his divisional home being better suited to his physique.
“I think I’m ready now,” he stated on the possibility of re-joining the UFC. “They should have called me when Dan Henderson got hurt. I would have taken that fight, no problem. I wouldn’t have said no. I’ll fight anybody. It doesn’t matter when or where. They could throw me in with Joe Schmo, and I would fight him. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Johnson made his successful 205-pound debut last month where he knocked out Esteves Jones in the second round of a Titan FC tilt. In his lighter days he also racked up wins over Charlie Brenneman and Dan Hardy.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC