Anthony Johnson set to return to action, takes on Craig Jones at SUG 9

Anthony Johnson
Image: @Anthony_Rumble on Instagram

Two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony Johnson is retired from MMA competition… but the overall combat sports hiatus is about to end.

Submission Underground Grappling (SUG) announced on Friday that their ninth event is set to go down on July 7 live as usual from the Roseland Theatre in Portland, Oregon. Despite SUG Founder Chael Sonnen announcing during the last event that SUG 9 will take place in Las Vegas, that obviously didn’t end up working out.

In the featured bout, we’ll see the official return to competition for “Rumble” Johnson as he takes on one of the very best BJJ practitioners on the planet in Australia’s Craig Jones.

For the ever-talented black-belt in Jones, he’ll be outsized in this match-up as he generally competes anywhere from 185 to 205 pounds.

Although Johnson fought at both of those weights during his career, he has put on a considerable amount of muscle mass since he retired in April 2017. Johnson’s gone on record to say that if he ever does return to fight in MMA, he wants it to be at heavyweight against current UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones who he missed out on an opportunity to challenge in 2015.

In his retirement, aside from bodybuilding and getting into the marijuana business, Johnson has recently taken up a fighter relations role with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).

SUG 8 took place earlier this month and saw several big names going at it. Jones went against seasoned MMA veteran, Dennis Hallman that night and wasted little to no time taking home the W. All he needed was 12 seconds to finish off “Superman.”

The rest of the SUG 9 card has yet to be revealed but surely it will be another very fun night of grappling action. And even though it isn’t a straight-up fist fight like he’s known to flourish in due to his incredible power, it’s still exciting to see Anthony Johnson back in a cage.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/31/2019