With just over a month to go until UFC 206, where UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will put his light heavyweight strap on the line as he squares off with top ranked light heavyweight contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson in a highly anticipated rematch, Rumble is getting some training in with a kickboxing world champ, and highly touted WMMA prospect.
In the video above, you can see Johnson sparring with 6’5 WMMA prospect, and world kickboxing champion Katsiaryna Kavaleva.
Cormier and Johnson first met in the Octagon last year, where they fought for Jon Jones’ vacant light heavyweight championship. While Johnson was initially slated to fight Jones for the light heavyweight strap at the event (UFC 187) Jones was infamously involved in a hit-and-run car accident that saw him suspended and stripped of the light heavyweight championship. The UFC replaced Jones with Cormier, and made the fight for the vacant light heavyweight championship. Ultimately, despite dropping Cormier early, Johnson was submitted in the third round.
Johnson rebounded from the loss by rattling off three straight KO wins as he knocked out Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and most recently Glover Teixeira on the main card of UFC 202.
While Johnson and Cormier verbally agreed to a fight after his UFC 202 win over Teixeira, UFC President Dana White initially was looking to book an interim light heavyweight title fight between Johnson and interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, whose USADA appeal process is reportedly going well.
Ultimately, Cormier expressed his dissatisfaction with sitting on the sidelines while Jones appealed his failed out-of-competition drug test back in June, and then fought Johnson, and the UFC opted to book Cormier vs. Johnson for the main event of UFC 206 in Toronto on December 10th.
While there were reports of former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre returning to the Octagon on the card, ‘Rush’ recently shut down those reports as he released a message to middleweight champion Michael Bisping, stating that while he would love to fight in Toronto at UFC 206, negotiations with the UFC haven’t resulted in him being able to return to the Octagon.
Check out the footage of Johnson sparring above!