Anthony “Rumble” Johnson plans heavyweight return next year
It’s been over a year since we last saw two-time UFC title challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson last fought. It was a losing bid to capture the light heavyweight title, and he decided to go into retirement following the submission loss. As has been proven time and time again, retirements in MMA are usually not as final as they might at first appear. According to manager Ali Abdelaziz, Johnson plans to return to the UFC as a heavyweight some time next year. ESPN were first to report the story.
Johnson previously teased a return to the UFC following a grappling competition with Craig Jones. “If the price is right, the price is right,” Johnson said regarding a return. Now it seems that price has been met.
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After a return to the UFC in 2014 as a light heavyweight Johnson went on an absolute tear in the division. He lined up three straight wins, two via brutal knockout, earning himself a title shot against Daniel Cormier. He would end up losing via third round submission, but he would bounce back with three straight knockout wins, including victories over former title challenger Glover Teixeira.
That second win streak would yet again earn him a title shot against Cormier. Once again, however, the result would end up the same, with Johnson losing via submission.
The landscape at heavyweight has changed, with former foe Cormier losing his heavyweight title to Stipe Miocic at UFC 241. According to Abdelaziz, Johnson is interested in facing someone along the likes of Alistair Overeem or Junior dos Santos in his return.
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