Anthony Johnson set to re-enter USADA pool, plans to return at light heavyweight

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

Anthony Johnson is getting closer to making his comeback.

For months now, Johnson has been talking about coming out of retirement and make a run at UFC gold. He has been doing bodybuilding as of late but has gotten the itch to return. Yet, for months, “Rumble” has yet to re-enter the USADA pool leaving his return to be delayed.

Now, however, Ali Abdelaziz tells ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Johnson will re-enter the USADA testing pool this week. The plan is for Johnson to come back at 205-pounds.

Breaking: Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) will re-enter the UFC’s mandatory drug testing program this week in anticipation of a comeback, per his manager Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00). Right now, the plan is to come back as a light heavyweight,” Okamoto tweeted.

Anthony Johnson has not fought since he was submitted by Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 for the light heavyweight title. Before that, Rumble picked up knocked out wins over Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, and Jimi Manuwa.

If Johnson does re-enter the USADA pool and make his comeback six months from now, he would likely get a top-10 opponent. Dana White even said that is the plan and with Jon Jones vacating the belt adding Johnson to 205-pounds is very intriguing.

It is expected Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz’s UFC 253 fight be for the vacant title. It is likely the next contender will be the winner of Teixeira vs. Thiago Santos in September. So, for Johnson, a return fight against someone like Jiri Prochazka, Anthony Smith, Volkan Oezdemir, or Aleksandar Rakic make sense. It is a top-10 opponent where with a win, Rumble could skyrocket up to a title shot.

Although some wanted to see Anthony Johnson fight at heavyweight, him going back down to light heavyweight adds another star to the division. Unfortunately, it comes the same day Jon Jones announced he is vacating the belt and moving up to heavyweight. That is a fight fans have wanted to see for a long time and hopefully, it can happen sometime in the future.

Who do you think Anthony Johnson should fight in his return to the Octagon?

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