Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Johnson is looking absolutely lethal ahead of his planned return to the Octagon.
Johnson has not fought since April of 2017, when he was submitted in his second attempt at swiping the UFC light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier. Despite his lengthy hiatus, he does not seem to have lost a step in training.
The hulking light heavyweight shared some training footage to Instagram over the weekend, and the entire UFC light heavyweight roster is bound to take notice.
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The details of Johnson’s return to the UFC are not yet known, but he recently divulged that he intends to compete at light heavyweight, despite previously teasing a move to heavyweight.
The long-time UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones recently vacated his title to move to heavyweight, clearing a path for a long list of contenders—Johnson included—to fill the throne.
That being said, Johnson has previously expressed interest in a heavyweight fight with Jones, and his latest training footage certainly suggests he’d be up to the task.
“The only way I’d come out of retirement is if Jon Jones goes to heavyweight, and then that’s when I’ll come out of retirement and fight Jon,” Johnson said on a 2019 episode of the Into the Weeds podcast. “I mean, that’s the only guy I want to fight. Because after him, I can officially say I did my job, (and) my mission is complete. Although I didn’t win a title, I fought the best of the best.”
Over the course of his MMA career, Anthony Johnson has picked up victories over a long list of respected foes across four weight classes, including Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Jimi Manuwa, Alexander Gustafsson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Phil Davis, Andrei Arlovski, David Branch, Charlie Brenneman, Dan Hardy, Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
Having seen this new training footage, how do you think he’ll look in his Octagon return?