After missing weight several times at welterweight, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson decided to give middleweight a shot two years ago. The UFC obliged him and gave him a marquee bout against former champion Vitor Belfort in early 2012 at UFC 142.
Despite being allowed fifteen pounds more in his new weight class, Johnson missed weight by an astounding eleven pounds against Belfort. The message the fighter's body was sending him was clear - you're trying to cut too much weight - and it wouldn't take it anymore, rejecting his attempts to dehydrate himself to make 186 pounds.
After yet another scale mishap and the ensuing first round submission loss to Vitor in what became a catch-weight fight, the UFC sent clear message to Johnson themselves - you're fired.
Since being released by the UFC, Johnson has rattled off six straight wins, four by way KO or TKO. He's taken to the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions and has looked strong and healthy fighting in smaller organizations like the TFC, XFL and WSOF against the likes of Jake Rosholt, Andrei Arlovski and Mike Kyle.
Johnson is now a free-agent and UFC president Dana White admitted Thursday that the promotion is once more "talking" about Johnson. "Me and [matchmaker] Joe [Silva] were talking about him the other day," White told media during a scrum in New Jersey.
"I mean, I like the kid. I always did."
White said that, while he has not seen all of Johnson's fight since his departure from the UFC, others in the organization have been keeping closer tabs on him.
"I think I saw the Arlovski fight," he said. "I saw the Arlovski fight, and I saw another one. I didn’t see the [Mike Kyle] fight. Lorenzo and Joe saw it."
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- Martial Arts
- Sports & Recreation
- Vitor Belfort
- Andrei Arlovski