Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
Anthony Johnson may have gotten the boot from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for losing to Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 and for failing to make weight for the third time, but "Rumble" says that was the best thing that ever happened to him because it made him a much more "focused" and "determined" fighter.
One wouldn't think missing weight three times for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) -- the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world -- and then subsequently getting cut by them would be a good thing ... right?
Unless, of course, you're Anthony Johnson, who says getting fired by the Zuffa-owned promotion after losing to Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 when he failed to hit the 185-pound mark at the weigh-ins was "the best thing that ever happened to him" in his MMA career.
Why, you ask?
"Rumble" gave his explanation to Pro MMA Radio:
"I got sick before the weigh-ins and stuff. I had to drink fluids to get my body back in order. I did what I was told to do. Next thing I know, I'm being told to step on a scale. I step on a scale and that's when I was weighing heavy, you know? It is what it is. I think my body was changing, know what I mean? It was trying to adapt. I started I guess getting my grown man body all of a sudden, know what I mean? I'm not trying to make excuses for anything, it just happened. Honestly, that's the best thing that happened to me, with the weight stuff and then being cut from the UFC. That's the best thing that ever happened to me since I started MMA. It just made me focus more. It made me more determined. It made me understand that in this business, with some people you got to have a straight business friendship, not think that this person a friend of yours or will try to understand your situation. I took it upon myself to learn the hard way. But, I don't regret anything. They are just lessons learned."
While competing as a welterweight -- if you can believe that -- inside the Octagon, Johnson racked up a 6-4 record during his five-year stint, but failed to hit the required weight limits for his bouts against Rich Clementi, Yoshiyuki Yoshida and the aforementioned Belfort.
Since his departure from UFC, a more "focused" and "determined" Johnson has reeled off four consecutive wins; one at a catchweight of 195 pounds and the other three in the light heavyweight division.
"Rumble" looks to make it five straight as he takes on perhaps his toughest test yet when he makes a one-time trip to the land of the big men to face former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in the main event of this weekend's (Mar. 23, 2013) World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 2 event which goes down in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Currently tipping the scales at 235 pounds -- and not planning on getting bigger than that -- "Rumble" should have no problems meeting the maximum 265-pound weight limit.