Former UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has been talking about possibly returning to the fight game for quite some time. Now, however, he's returned to the gym and gearing up to step back into the Octagon sometime around late spring or early summer of 2020.
Johnson began his run as one of the UFC's most prolific knockout artists as a welterweight in 2007. Constantly struggling to make weight, he eventually left the promotion in 2012, finding success outside the Octagon at both light heavyweight and heavyweight.
He returned in 2014, eventually making a run at the 205-pound belt, but falling short on two separate occasions.
Johnson retired after losing to Daniel Cormier a second time in 2017, but has constantly had the itch to get back in the cage and knock guys out. This time when he returns, he's not going to mess around with weight cutting at all and plans to fight at heavyweight.
“Right now I feel good being at 240,” Johnson told the MacLife. “If I were to fight right now at heavyweight for 240, I’d feel just fine. I feel like I still have my strength. I’m definitely not going to be one of the bigger heavyweight guys, there’s some monsters at heavyweight, but my advantage would probably be speed over a majority of those guys. Everybody at heavyweight for the most part has power, but I think I’m much faster than those guys and I’ll probably have a little bit more knockout power.”
Anthony Johnson training for a UFC run at heavyweight
Having returned to sparring, where he says he has knocked out two of his training partners, Johnson is looking forward to a UFC return sometime around June or July of 2020, though he has yet to iron out the details with the UFC.
“We have to go over things and just figure some stuff out but it’s all looking good so far; nothing bad. I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth and say too much, but everything’s looking good right now,” said Johnson
“I was trying to shoot for April or May, but maybe June or July (is more likely). Whenever I come back, I’m going to make sure it’s known. I want to come back and showcase everything and fight and just hurt people.”
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson talks UFC return
(Courtesy of TheMacLife)