Fighters just don’t know when to walk away. In the case of former UFC light heavyweight beast Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who retired shortly after UFC 210 following a devastating loss to reigning champion Daniel “DC” Cormier, the 33-year-old could not spend more than a few months in retirement before contemplating a comeback.
Johnson, who said he was done with mixed martial arts back in April, is eyeing a return to the UFC. According to his manager, Ali Abdel Aziz, Johnson wants to come back in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
The former UFC light heavyweight title contender began his professional career as a lightweight. He soon quickly increased in body mass and sheer size however, carrying his power up through several weight divisions.
Johnson’s manager says he is planning to come back as a heavyweight
After losing to Cormier in early April, Johnson went on various media outlets and said he was done with MMA.
“It’s just business,” Johnson said in April, per Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting.
“I want to do something besides going to the gym everyday punching and kicking and rolling around with another dude. That sh*t gets old. I’ve been doing this for so long, I’ve been in sports since I was 8, it’s just time to move on to something different. I won’t say better, but just different.
“And no, I am not about to play football for the (Los Angeles) Rams. Because everybody’s hitting me up and saying some crazy stuff about (how) I’m about to play for the Rams. Why would I go into another sport that’s the same thing as this, and you take all this impact and stuff? That’s absolutely insane.”
Johnson hinted at a comeback last May
While he has been firm in his desire to end his fighting career, it hasn’t stopped Johnson from constantly hinting at a comeback. He had this to say back in May:
“I’m getting that itch! Show these boys how to throw an uppercut the right way!” Johnson posted on Twitter after watching Alexander Gustafsson knock out Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 109.
At current, his manager Abdel-Aziz has confirmed that they are in talks with UFC President Dana White on a potential comeback.
“It has to make sense for him,” Abdel-Aziz said.
“He’ll come back as a heavyweight,” Abdel-Aziz said. “We want him to come back as a heavyweight.”
“We’re meeting with UFC this week to see what he wants to do,” Abdel-Aziz said. “Dana White really loves Anthony Johnson. How can you not love Anthony Johnson? He’s terrifying.”
At his best, Johnson was a monster of a fighter, packing unbelievable power in both fists. If he indeed comes back as a heavyweight, the big question is will he be able to retain his power which has been a problem for many. The reigning UFC heavyweight champion is, of course, the incredible Stipe Miocic.
How will Johnson fare against the UFC’s top heavyweights? Do you guys think he will do well? Let us know in the comments.