“Rumble” Johnson interested in “title” fight against Francis Ngannou
It seems that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is getting closer and closer a return to the UFC, and he has Francis Ngannou is in his sights.
Anthony Johnson, two-time light heavyweight title challenger in the UFC, last competed in MMA in 2017. After a second failed bid to capture the title, he decided to retire, surprisingly. Many fans and pundits alike felt that “Rumble” still had a lot more to offer, and it seems he’s also beginning to see it that way. Now Johnson is beginning to open up for a return to the heavyweight division, and a potential clash with knockout artist Francis Ngannou.
“I think him and I will meet eventually but most people just want the fight. To me and hopefully to Francis, it has to happen at the right time,” Johnson told MMA Fighting. “Not just a fight happen, just to get everybody else’s rocks off. If I fight Francis, I want it to be for something serious. Not just a fight, a main event fight. Let us fight for the title, that way it really counts. Not just getting everybody else’s rocks off and just beating each other up for no reason.
“I want it to be a title fight. That fight is too hyped up and too big for it not to be a title fight, if one of us are holding the title. But if it’s the last [option], no other choice, that’s what I have to do but I don’t see it going down that way.”
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Johnson went on a stellar run when he returned to the UFC in 2014, with his only losses coming to then champ Daniel Cormier. “Rumble” defeated the likes of Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa and Ryan Bader during his light heavyweight stint in the UFC, which was also his most successful run.
Ngannou has finished Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos, all via T/KO, since he attempted to capture the UFC heavyweight title. After losing a five round battle with Stipe Miocic, Ngannou has returned to form and is nearing another shot at the title.