Retired former UFC title challenger Anthony Johnson is opening the door for a return to MMA competition, and it would come with a change of weight class.
Johnson (22-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) abruptly retired from the sport following a submission loss to Daniel Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) at UFC 210 in April 2017. During that time he’s ventured off into other aspects of life, notably into the body building industry.
The already-shredded “Rumble” has bulked up to roughly 285 pounds, according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, which would mean any comeback would be at heavyweight. Johnson said he would do it, but there’s a bit of a caveat attached that includes Cormier and Jon Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC).
He posted a message about it on social media today (via Instagram Stories):
“Yes it’s true that I’ll come back to mma at heavyweight, but only if Jon fights DC for the title! It’s a personal goal of mine to fight the very best of the best before I truly stop fighting. Jon was always my motivation once I went to 205. Heavyweight would be insane if the 3 of us were at it again!”
Johnson, 34, started his UFC career in June 2007 as a welterweight. He did most of his damage at light heavyweight, though, twice fighting for the title and beating the likes of Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Alexander Gustafsson and more.
When he retired from the sport, Johnson cited other opportunities and the fact he was “tired of getting punched by guys and rolling around on the ground with guys and stuff like that.” He left a glimmer of hope at the time about eventually fighting again, but has been mum on the subject for the past 19 months.
Although he’s lost to Cormier twice, Johnson has always expressed a desire to fight Jones. They were scheduled to fight at UFC 187 in May 2015, but the fight fell apart when Jones was involved in a hit-and-run accident that led to him being stripped of the UFC belt.
For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site
- Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones both sound like they're done with this rivalry. But are we?
- UFC 230 medical suspensions: Chris Weidman gets longest term for TKO loss
- Paul Felder returns to lightweight for rescheduled bout vs. James Vick at UFC 233
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Retired Anthony Johnson considering return to MMA – at heavyweight