Anthony Johnson parts ways with UFC, signs with Bellator

Anthony Johnson
Image via @AnthonyRumble on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Anthony Johnson has parted ways with the UFC, and will instead be mounting his comeback in the Bellator MMA cage.

News of this move comes from Ariel Helwani of ESPN.

“Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is headed to Bellator,” Helwani reported. “Rumble has agreed to terms with Bellator, per sources. He hasn’t signed his deal just yet, but he’s expected to imminently, sources say. Johnson recently mutually parted ways with the UFC, according to sources.”

Johnson retired after he came up short in a light heavyweight title fight with Daniel Cormier in 2017. Over the last year, however, the knockout artist has been teasing a comeback.

It was widely expected that his comeback would occur in the UFC, however, it seems he and the promotion couldn’t come to an agreement and elected to go their separate ways. That’s not a particularly surprising development, given that the UFC has been thinning its roster in a major way, having recently cut big names like Yoel Romero, Anderson Silva and Jussier Formiga.

At present, it’s not clear when Johnson will make his debut in the Bellator cage, but Helwani added that it’s likely to happen in the first half of the New Year, and in the promotion’s stacked light heavyweight division.

“Johnson is slated to fight in the first half of 2021 and is expected to debut at light heavyweight, per sources,” Helwani reported. “No debut fight set yet.”

While Johnson, a former welterweight, previously suggested his return could occur at heavyweight, he achieved his best wins at light heavyweight, which also happens to be one of Bellator’s best divisions, so the move makes sense.

How do you think Anthony Johnson will perform in the Bellator cage?

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