UFC welterweight, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (8-3) is considering a move up to the middleweight division. This decision would come as no surprise as Johnson reportedly cuts up to 50 pounds to make the 170 pound welterweight limit.
Johnson’s manager, Ken Pavia, said Johnson’s added weight is due in large part to a recurring knee injury that has not healed back to 100 percent.
“Because of his knee injury, his weight has gotten up a little bit, and we don’t want to delay his comeback because of a weight issue. So we’re entertaining the possibility of taking a fight at 185 (pounds),” Pavia said.
Johnson’s injured knee caused him to miss weight by 5 pounds for his welterweight bout against Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 104. Johnson looked extremely weak at the weigh-ins and was forced to give up 20 percent of his purse to Yoshida who agreed to a catch weight of 176 pounds. Johnson went on to deliver a spectacular knockout of Yoshida that many believe would have garnered “Knockout of the Night” honors. However, Johnson was not eligible for any post fight bonuses because he failed to make weight.
“Rumble” aggravated his knee injury again while training for his scheduled bout against John Howard at UFC on Versus 1 in March. He was forced to withdraw from the fight and underwent surgery on his knee last month. Johnson has not fought since being submitted by current welterweight number one contender, Josh Koscheck at UFC 106 last November.
Johnson and Pavia have mentioned that a move to the middleweight division would be temporary and emphasized that nothing has been decided yet.
“It’s touch and go until he reaches another level of rehabilitation,” Pavia said. “[A middleweight fight] may expedite his return, as opposed to taking more time off to reach the ultimate goal. I don’t think (Johnson’s) convinced. He’s considering it.”
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