Just weeks ago, UFC light heavyweight #1 contender Anthony Johnson was slated to headline UFC 206 in Toronto in a highly anticipated rematch for the light heavyweight title against UFC champion Daniel Cormier. Unfortunately, Cormier was forced out of the fight with a groin tear, and has been sidelined until March, when he expects to be able to return to the Octagon.
While the UFC attempted to find Johnson a replacement opponent, given that ‘Rumble’ has knocked out every light heavyweight in the top 5 of the UFC’s 205 pound division, the lack of potential opponents resulted in Johnson being pulled from the card. With that being said, middleweights Gegard Mousasi and Tim Kennedy both offered to step up and fight Johnson on short notice, however due to the risk he would be taking fighting, ‘Rumble’ opted to turn down both fights.
Now, Johnson is attempting to at least attend UFC 206 so as to meet with fans who purchased tickets in hopes of seeing him fight at the event, however the UFC has denied his request for a ticket.
He spoke to MMAMania:
“Hopefully, I can go. I am trying to go there. I’m wanting to go to UFC 206. I wanted to fight on UFC 205. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Then when I asked for tickets to 205 I got a big, ‘No, no.’ Yeah, they just weren’t giving out tickets because the place was sold out from what I heard. Whatever the excuse was, it is what it is, it’s over with now. Hell, I was supposed to fight at UFC 206 and now that’s not happening, so hopefully they will at least let me go and meet the fans and say what’s up to the fans and give something back to them because a lot of people bought pay-per-view and bought tickets because of Daniel and I. I still get a lot of messages from fans saying they wish I was on the card or that I would come out. So, I want to give the fans something and I don’t want them to be completely disappointed.”
Only time will tell if this becomes a trend.