Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting
Well at least his next fight won't be at "Rumbleweight."
That's according to Titan Fighting Championships promoter Joe Kelly, who informed listeners on Bloody Elbow Radio that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) castoff Anthony Johnson's next fight in his promotion is expected to be at light heavyweight.
Here's the exact quote:
"[Anthony Johnson] has stated that in his next fight, he wants to fight for us at 205 so that's where the fight will be in July. We'll see."
Johnson infamously lost his job with the UFC after missing weight for the third time, the final straw coming after moving up to middleweight. "Rumble" weighed in for UFC 142 at a whopping 197 pounds -- 11 pounds over the contractually obligated 186 pound limit -- and went on to lose to former UFC champion Vitor Belfort via first round submission.
So why would Johnson now be moving up to light heavyweight? We've got some more backstory and clarification from Kelly posted after the jump.
Johnson has already fought once since his release from the UFC, defeating fellow Octagon veteran Dave Branch in the main event of Titan Fighting Championships 22 just over three weeks ago, but even that fight didn't occur without a bit of weighty drama.
The bout against Branch had been announced as a middleweight attraction, but when it came time to step on the scales it had been switched to a 195 pound catchweight. This surprised many media, who all assumed the fight would be at 185 pounds. Both men weighed in at 195 or below and the fight was officially "on."
Kelly cleared the air on that particular subject as well.
"[Johnson and Branch] agreed to do the 195 pound catchweight prior to the bout and it is what it is. It's all I can do. We're not the UFC. I've got to do what I have to do to hold matches together. It's not like I can bring in a replacement early on a 12 fight stacked card and I can shuffle things around. We have to work with guys to make sure fights go off. It's something I have to look at in the future. I've got to protect the brand."
No word yet on who Johnson's opponent will be when he makes his light heavyweight debut.
Do you think this is the right move for "Rumble" or would you rather see him at 185-pounds? And do you think the former welterweight will ever get his weight issues sorted out?
Sound off, Maniacs!