Former UFC light-heavyweight title contender, Anthony Johnson has unretired and is going to the Bellator MMA. Johnson’s last fight was the year 2017 and was against Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight title but fell short.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is headed to Bellator.
“Rumble” has agreed to terms with Bellator, per sources. He hasn’t signed his deal just yet, but he’s expected to imminently, sources say.
Johnson recently mutually parted ways with the UFC, according to sources.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 9, 2020
Bellator MMA is being led by its CEO, Scott Coker. There are many former UFC fighters that were either cut or transferred to Bellator where some found success. The three most famous were Gegard Mousasi, Rory Macdonald, and Ryan Bader. All of them eventually became Bellator champions.
Another reason is the pay difference offered in their contract. Bellator offers the fighters a chance to put their own sponsors in their fight kits. UFC has a contract to only use Reebok so the fighters cannot earn more but with a fixed as per contract.
Anthony Johnson went to as low as the welterweight until moving up two more divisions where he found success in beating top contenders. The weight cut during his welterweight run took too much toll on his body that it hindered his performance during fight night.
The projected weight class for Johnson would have to be the light-heavyweight division. Ryan Bader who Johnson has a win against was also the former light-heavyweight champion and the current heavyweight champion.
The current champion is Vadim Nemkov who so far has a 12-2 record. Johnson has the potential to beat him with his knockout power. It is also worth noting that during Johnson’s UFC run, he beat everyone except Daniel Cormier. Unfortunately, he fell short of a title twice which led him to retire.
Vadim Nemkov is a Russian Combat Sambo World Champion so his resume speaks for itself that he is a talented fighter. He is also known as Fedor’s protege. For those who do not know, Fedor was one of the greatest heavyweights of all time but never really fought in the UFC.
Another potential opponent for Johnson is Corey Anderson. Anderson is a former UFC light-heavyweight contender as well. He never fought for the title but was one win away from fighting for the belt. Sadly for him, he lost to Jan Blachowicz.
Anthony Johnson was always sending rumors of getting back to MMA but never really announced officially. He said that he wanted to fight Francis Ngannou but for a huge payday since both have knockout power.
It is good to see Johnson getting back to the MMA once again since he was not really out of his prime but just retired due to not seeing a path to becoming a champion. Now in Bellator, he has set his goal to be a champion once again.