‘Rumble’ is coming back… and he wants a piece of Francis Ngannou…
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson never won a UFC title. But, boy, could he punch hard? The former light-heavyweight title contender smashed up almost everybody he fought, with the exception of Daniel Cormier. Now he’s coming back and he wants a piece of another knockout artist.
‘Rumble’ revealed that he needed time away from the sport to revitalise himself. He fell out of love with MMA because of all of the pressure that he was under. However, now he has recharged his batteries and looks set to fight in his fourth weight class. That’s right: we’re going to see the heavyweight version of Johnson.
First of all, he needs to get a few wins on the board. But it’s obvious that a couple of knockouts will see him fast-tracked towards the top of the division. We may finally get that ‘Rumble’ v Jon Jones fight. Johnson has his eye on Francis Ngannout though. In short, that’s got the potential to be a crazy matchup.
Johnson believes that he will fight Francis Ngannou one day. “The Predator” is one of the scariest power punchers in all of the combat sports. He’s currently riding a three-fight win streak that sees him in touching distance of a title shot. ‘Rumble’ agrees that Ngannou is a terrifying individual.
“To me there’s nobody afraid of the next person, which is fine, but when I was fighting at 205 there was at least one person in every division that was a bad motherf—ker like ‘ya’ll need to watch out for him’,” Johnson said. “But they’re not really saying that in the heavyweight division. I think the scariest guy in the division for them is Francis. The scariest, not the best but the scariest.”
However, Johnson doesn’t want to just go out and have a three rounder with Ngannou. No, he wants to fight him for the title. That would definitely be a match-up to get fans licking their lips. Of course, Johnson has to prove that he can do it in the UFC’s top division first.
“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 explained. “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.”
I asked Anthony Johnson about a potential fight with Francis Ngannou, who he says is the scariest dude in the division. He says he expects to fight him but not just to “get everyone’s rocks off.” Says that fight will be hyped and it needs to be for something special.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 8, 2019
‘Rumble’ also spoke out about the BMF title. Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz are set to fight it out for the honorary strap in November. The pair are two of the most loved fighters on the roster, but their fellow pros don’t seem impressed by the arrangement. Johnson joined the critics in slamming the BMF title. The likes of Kamaru Usman and Benson Henderson have already laughed at it.
“Save that sh-t for them little dudes,” Johnson said. “If I’m gonna fight for a title, it’s going to be the title that’s going to count, and that’s the heavyweight title. And that’s it. I don’t want any of these fake-ass ‘BMF,’ ‘SMF’ or whatever the f—k you want to call that sh-t. I just want to fight for the real title.
“How are you going to act like you win the ‘BMF’ or something – how are you going to go home to your kids and be like, ‘You know what? I won one title: Bad Motherf—r’?’” he continued. “But at the end of the day, they’re going to say the bad motherf—r is going to be the champion, right? So that sh-t is imaginary. It’s trash.”