Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is Coming Back Out of Retirement… And the Man Who Once Fought as Low as Welterweight is Set to Fight in the Grandest Division of Them All in the UFC…
He’s one of the scariest hitters in the history of MMA and now it looks like he’s coming out of retirement after rediscovering his love for the sport. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson looks set to fight again, according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz, with a return date likely to be in early 2020.
‘Rumble”s power is almost mythical at this point. He’s knocked out a whole bunch of guys including Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira and current Bellator champion Ryan Bader. Only Daniel Cormier was able to nullify his striking threat and sadly we never got to see him fight Jon Jones.
Johnson stepped away from the sport in 2017 after becoming disillusioned with MMA. Now though, after a couple of years of bodybuilding, he feels reinvigorated and looks set to step back into the cage again.
Time is Now
After losing to Daniel Cormier in April 2017, at UFC 210, Johnson hung up his gloves. He frustrated his cornermen in that fight by bizarrely trying to wrestle one of the most accomplished Olympic wrestlers to fight in MMA. But it turned out that he had simply lost his hunger and the will to compete.
It’s back now though and that should be a frightening prospect for fighters at heavyweight in the UFC after spending most of the last few years of his career at 205lbs. He does have one heavyweight fight on his record, beating Andrei Arlovski under the WSOF umbrella. Alistair Overeem looks set to be the man who welcomes Johnson up another division in the world’s biggest promotion. Insanely, ‘Rumble’ has fought as low as welterweight, which if you look at him right now is unimaginable.
Overeem is a tough fight for Johnson. A lot of fans still have Francis Ngannou’s devastating knockout of the Dutch fighter in their heads, but Overeem is a hugely talented guy who held K-1 and PRIDE titles at the same time.
While the fight hasn’t been confirmed yet, Johnson’s return is imminent. This is exciting for the heavyweight division which is seeing some turnover now that Stipe Miocic is the champion again. Will Jon Jones make the step up too?
Last year Johnson had confirmed that he was interested in an MMA term, but only if the conditions were right. Now it seems like he’s had his mind changed slightly, which is great because he’s one of the most entertaining fighters to watch in the sport of MMA.
Yes it’s true that I’ll come back to MMA at heavyweight, but only if Jones fights [Cormier] for the title!,” Johnson wrote on Instagram. “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 [light heavyweight]. Heavyweight would be insane if the 3 of us were at it again!”
Now that Stipe Miocic has beaten Daniel Cormier, the odds of DC and Jones ever fighting again have gone up massively. It’s more than likely never going to happen, but Johnson clearly sees a path to the title at heavyweight. Alistair Overeem might have something to say about that.