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Anthony Johnson reveals that he only moved up to UFC's Light Heavyweight division to face Jon Jones

A case of what could have been
A case of what could have been
R. Nath
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 11:20 IST

Anthony Johnson is no longer a part of the UFC. While Dana White was vague about it, he said 'use your imagination' when asked about why Anthony Johnson was released from his UFC contract in favor of a move to Bellator.

Regardless, Anthony Johnson is now a part of a stacked Bellator Light Heavyweight division, but there's one fight that got away from him. In May 2015, Anthony Johnson was expected to face then-UFC Light Heavyweight King, Jon Jones.

While all seemed to be going well in the build, everything was derailed after Jon Jones was stripped of the UFC Light Heavyweight title for the hit-and-run accident involving a pregnant woman.

Speaking to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Anthony Johnson revealed that the reason he moved up to Light Heavyweight was to face the pound-for-pound King Jon Jones:

Ultimately, that fight was never meant to be, and Rumble would go on to face Daniel Cormier for the vacant Light Heavyweight Championship. He lost via submission in the third round.

It would take Anthony Johnson a string of four wins against top contenders like Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira to secure another shot at the title and Daniel Cormier. It ended even quicker the second time around, with the same rear-naked choke finish for Cormier. After that, Anthony Johnson would be retired for the next three-and-a-half years.

Why a move to 205 was a blessing in disguise for Anthony Johnson

It was no secret that Rumble struggled to make weight at Middleweight and Welterweight. For many fans, it was a shock that he even attempted to fight at Welterweight, especially given that he walks around like a Heavyweight.

Ultimately, Rumble found his home at 205 Pounds but always fell short to Daniel Cormier, either being the second or third best in the division. It will be interesting to see how Anthony Johnson does in his Bellator run at 205.

Published 17 Dec 2020, 11:20 IST
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