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Tuesday, 11/01/2011, 11:56 am

Anthony Johnson moves To middleweight to take on Vitor Belfort at UFC 142


In a somewhat startling development, the oversized welterweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has agreed to move up in weight to take on Vitor Belfort in Brazil this upcoming January.

UFC officials confirmed the booking this afternoon.

“Verbal agreements in for what should be an explosive matchup as powerhouse Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson moves up to middleweight to face ‘The Phenom’ Vitor Belfort at the event,”
UFC president Dana White said.

UFC 142 is expected to go down on Jan. 14 from Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena. However, the event itself has yet to be officially announced by the UFC. On the card so far is a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.

Anthony Johnson last saw action at UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson this past October. He earned knockout of the night honors with a first round head kick over Brenneman to earn his sixth win in his last eight fights.

After losing his title shot against Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort recently bounced back with an exclamatory victory of his own against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 this past August. The victory secured him knockout of the night honors and marked his sixth win in his last seven professional outings, with the lone loss coming way of the aforementioned title fight with Anderson Silva earlier this year.

*Click here for the latest UFC 142 coverage provided by BJPENN.COM



comments

35 Comments to Anthony Johnson moves To middleweight to take on Vitor Belfort at UFC 142

  1. Joe says:

    thats what im talkin about! anthony movin up!

  2. bob says:

    bout time, this dude was waaay to big to be fighting welterweights

  3. Azusa says:

    SHOULD BE A GREAT EXPLOSIVE FIGHT!! IF JOHNSON CANT HANDLE VITORS HANDS THEN HE’LL JUST TAKE HIM DOWN!

  4. Tsimanga says:

    Vitor is going to blast through Rumble… not a good fight to begin as MW

    • Duane says:

      I agree, this isn’t a good fight to begin mW. UFC thinks highly of RJ, before getting taken out by Kosh he was suppose to be the next champ. Now he’s facing VB, and i assume winner gets a shot? RJ trying to do big things, i can dig it!

      • Mike McMack says:

        Agreed Vitor is the 3rd best MW behind Silva and Sonnen. Dana must think really highly of “Rumble” to think that he can beat Vitor in his first 185 fight. Maybe they just didn’t have a decent opponent for Vitor to fight in Brazil. The MW division is one of the weakest divisions IMO but with guys like Anthony Johnson moving up it makes things more interesting. Anthony is a very good fighter and if he can take Vitor down he has a chance, if not Vitor is gonna KO him in the first 3 minutes of the first round.

  5. ThaGreenBandit says:

    WOW!! Huge step up for Rumble! If he can withstand a Belfort Blitz, he’ll be fine. Rumble is no dummy. He’ll respect Belfort’s hands, and take him down to the mat, just like he did Hardy. I think Rumble can pull this off if he doesn’t get caught in a early flurry

  6. RCS says:

    interesting. . . if anthony wins that puts him top five.

    • andyboy says:

      Top five MW cuz of ONE win at MW……..100% incorrect. This is the problem with the way UFC forces opinions and views on fans, he would be ranked in the top 20 for sure with a win over a top 10, but he’s not even ranked as a MW. you dont get top 10 out of nowhere. BJ wasn’t even ranked in WW after he beat Hughes until he beat Ludwig 2 months after…it was weird, but he technically didnt have enuff time as the WW Champion before leaving UFC so maybe he would have but it makes since that he wouldn’t be ranked #1 after 0 fights at WW.

      That’s like beating Kelly Slater in a heat and saying i’m ranked #1 cuz i beat Kelly in a heat. Rankings have a system and do make sense, unless it’s UFC then of course Rumble would prolly get a title shot hahaha

  7. Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

    This is some strange news. Makes me think there is a shortage of talent left to spread around in the middle weight division. My guess is that they had to fill a position in the mw division since Akayama is dropping down to another weight class. Rumble is impressive but Vitors got this.

  8. El Charlie says:

    Nicee ..

  9. magoo says:

    Johnsons hands are pretty quick,as quick as Vitor im not so sure,but hes a strong sob if he takes you down,should be interesting!

  10. BJPennrules says:

    Vitor will completely destroy Rumble..he should have started off slower..
    he should fight some like Aaron Simpson to start off first.

  11. TheXperience says:

    Wow… my respect level for Rumble just blew up sky high !!! I respect this move.. its straight gangsta of him to go up to whoop Vitor’s ass… if he doesn’t get caught by Vitor’s lightning hands early… i wouldn’t be to quick to count him out cause Rumble got Power in both hands and Feet and we all know his wrestling is no joke.. For sure he can take Vitor down. He’s still big at Middleweight so this match up is INTERESTING to say the least… mannn really looking forward to this fuckin’ card !!!! It keeps getting better and better… i might just have to go and watch this shit live!

    • BJPennrules says:

      I agree, it doesnt matter who wins here, this is a very exciting matchup..both are sluggers but I think that Vitor will overwhelm Rumble Johnson…but its going to be good.
      the fans will win with this fight..

  12. magoo says:

    I guess this means the Anderson/Chael fight is a sure thing now!!

  13. Hostile hunter says:

    Rumble in the middleweight division sounds awesome to me…i think from a wrestling and control postions rumbles got the edge. As far as speed we all kno that goes to Vitor.Power is pretty equal i would say.Damn good match-up.

  14. Randy says:

    just the potential to see him eventually matched up against Anderson is exciting…at least the UFC can now have a guy who’s close to challenging for the belt(if he wins) and is someone different from the same 3 guys Anderson has already finished (chael, hendo, vitor)…if he wins, i wouldn’t be surprised if he gets matched up with munoz after he rolls through leben for a no. 1 contenders match

  15. josh says:

    This fight doesnt really make sense for Anthony unless he cant make the cut anymore at WW. After posting back to back wins over pretty good competition I was expecting to see him fight Condit in his next fight since Carlos got shafted for the title shot. Anyways, Rumble all day in this one. I think he will be a smart fighter and just gnp Vitor.

  16. doc says:

    I like this. I think there should be more strikers in MW.

  17. Fortyb4five says:

    And people think Kos wouldn’t make it at MW….Anthony will even be huge at MW and Kos handled him.

  18. Eric El Bestia says:

    This match is like Vitor The Road Runner Belfort vs Anthony Tazmania Johnson

  19. Mike says:

    His nickname is going to be Crumble Johnson after he gets his ass kicked.

  20. SD says:

    johnson is going to get an ass-whoopin! he sucks!

  21. wayuk says:

    If AJ tries to take Vitor down, I see punches in the head until he gets unconscious, Vitor is a killer if he sees a target and I see a finish.

    Vitor by KO/TKO

  22. mmaislandjunkie says:

    rumble is a good fighter but he cant take punches that well. i think vitor got this!

  23. wayuk says:

    It’s just weird how the UFC put AJ to take onVitor in his first middleweight fight since AJ is not in the same level with Vitor, though AJ is a good fighter, they could have put him in front of mid level guys like Belcher or a matchup with Maia would be interesting since he’s not afraid to go to the ground with AJ, could have been interesting to watch both of them on their feet & he’s not scheduled to fight anyone. I think they don’t have anyone to matchup with Vitor in Brazil.

  24. Tailor made fight for the Phenom. Thats gonna be another brutal KO for the phenom!

  25. Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

    What does Vitor get from beating Rumble? He has more to lose if you ask me. Which no one did…..

    • C91 says:

      I agree. Rumble has everything to gain I believe. An impressive Victory might put him a win or 2 away from a title shot. As for Vitor, he can’t afford to screw this one up if he wants that title shot as much as he states he does. Otherwise we may see him at the bottom of the pit.

  26. TEMPHUiBIS says:

    -]. Did Rumble Piss off Dana and Joe Silva? O_O better give Rumble a title shot if he pulls off the KO of the night. Good luck Rumble .[-

  27. Pouya says:

    hopefully rumble will put a good beating on vitor the dirty fighter belfort

    he eye gouges randy

    he throws back of the head shots against franklin and akiyama

    he gets knocked out by anderson then calls the ko a fluke

  28. justin says:

    he should fare pretty well in the division but having your first fight against vitor? thats tough!

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