While nothing is official, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s manager revealed that Johnson would be meeting with the UFC to discuss a potential comeback. This time, he’d be entering into the heavyweight division. The former two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger just retired back at UFC 210 in April this year. Daniel Cormier thinks Johnson should have took a little bit of more time before decided to come back that fast and details why on the recent episode of his podcast.
“Here’s the thing. There’s something that’s kind of bothering me right now. News that Anthony Johnson is coming out of retirement. First off, I feel like if he was going to retire maybe he should have stayed retired a little bit longer. Because when you do that, you come back this quick, it just kind of feels like ‘oh you were mad because you lost, so you just quit’. Right? It’s not even a six month retirement. So, it feels kind of like you were mad because you lost, and you kind of just quit. That’s not the way things are supposed to be, you know?” — Daniel Cormier on his Talk and Talker podcast.
“It has to make sense for [Anthony Johnson]. He’ll come back as a heavyweight. We want him to come back as a heavyweight. We’re meeting with UFC this week to see what he wants to do. Dana White really loves Anthony Johnson. How can you not love Anthony Johnson? He’s terrifying.” — Ali Abdelaziz, Anthony Johnson’s manager, on The MMA Hour.
Despite Daniel Cormier’s critique, it sort of makes sense for Anthony Johnson to come back to heavyweight if he ends up cutting his retirement (very) short. The biggest money fight in the division is potentially out for three to four years, Johnson was never able to get close to beating Cormier, and the title picture is a lot more open at heavyweight. With a fighter like Johnson we thinks he may not have much time left, heavyweight could be a quick path to finally capture UFC gold. Johnson would have to enter back into the USADA testing pool though, which would take six months.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/4/2017.