Anthony Johnson Willing To Test Free Agency After His Next UFC Run
Former UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson, recently announced his return into the Octagon. His last fight was against Daniel Cormier, who submitted him at UFC 210 in April 2017. After resigning with the UFC 2014, ‘Rumble’ only lost twice, both times against DC while fighting for the light heavyweight title.
The 36-year-old is now back in the USADA testing pool, which is mandatory in order to be eligible to compete inside the Octagon again. The rule is that every fighter who is coming out of retirement must complete a six-month testing process, before he/she gets the opportunity to compete again. This means the earliest we could see Johnson fight is in February of next year.
Missing The Sport
Whilst speaking at the recent BKFC press conference (transcript by The Mac Life), Johnson opened up on why he’s decided to compete again, despite the fact that in the past he has spoken against fighters coming out of retirement.
“I got fat for one. Honestly, I missed the sport,” Johnson said. “You know what I mean? I missed the sport. I missed competing.
“So I know at one point I was against guys coming back from retirement — you usually see them getting mopped up. BJ Penn came back got mopped. I’ve seen everybody that came out of retirement get mopped up.”
The UFC For Now But Later, Who Knows…
When Johnson first discussed returning to MMA, he said he planed to compete at heavyweight. There was even some small back and forth between him and Francis Ngannou. However, ‘Rumble’ has decided to stay at light heavyweight.
Although he is set to return in the UFC, Johnson plans on keeping his options open going forward. Which could even see him compete in the Bare Knuckle FC.
“I just don’t want to be one of those guys to get mopped up but I still feel good,” Johnson said. “I have no injuries. While I was in the UFC, I didn’t really get hit much unless I lost, and that wasn’t often. But you never know. I got a couple more fights on my contract with UFC, and then after that, I may fight for Dave [Feldman in the BKFC].
“I dunno man, these guys in bare-knuckle are different kind of beasts. I think we’re bad, I think MMA fighters are badasses. But to get punched with knuckles takes a different kind of mentality, and I don’t like getting hit. So we’ll see.”
Whilst speaking to Asian Persuasion MMA exclusively earlier this month, Johnson’s manager Ali Abdelaziz predicted that ‘Rumble’ will be the UFC light heavyweight champion in 2021.
Who would you like to see Anthony Johnson face in his comeback fight?