To say that Anthony Johnson's emotions have been on a roller coaster ride over the last couple of months, would be an understatement.
"Rumble" was suspended indefinitely by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after it was learned that he had been in the center of two domestic violence disputes. The setback couldn't have come at a worse time for Johnson, as he was riding a hot streak inside the Octagon, winning two big fights against Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
He was also on the cusp of singing a deal to take on Alexander Gustafsson in a No. 1 contender's fight.
But, as expected, Johnson was cleared of any wrongdoing after the case was dismissed in court and he was subsequently reinstated by UFC.
He also got his much-desired fight against "The Mauler," news that literally brought him to tears, as he recently revealed on The MMA Hour.
"I found out after training. Ryan Loco told me, he was like, 'hey, you got the fight, Gus' It was exciting. then when I got home, I cried. I cried just because with so much going on and me not giving up and still having faith and believing in myself and stuff like that, I was emotional man, you know? Going through so much in somebody's career and then, you know, you get one of the biggest opportunities of a lifetime, that comes right to you. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't do anything but cry. I don't like to cry. It has to be something that really touches my heart. That was one of those moments where everything is going back as planned. I started crying because it felt like a huge amount of weight lifted off of me. I got emotional. But nobody saw it, don't even think nobody saw that, I'll do that behind closed doors."
Johnson's fight against Gustafsson -- which will serve as main event for UFC on FOX 14 at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Jan. 24, 2015 -- is expected to determine the next light heavyweight title contender.
While getting to fight inside the Octagon again is good news, it doesn't cover up the fact that the entire situation and suspension weighed heavily on the 205-pound striker.
"It was depressing, really. It made me learn who to trust and who my real friends were, know what I mean? It's over with and life goes on and I still have a strong support system. My fans have been great. My family has stuck beside me. My teammates didn't turn their back on me. I'm blessed and I'm happy that I'm still here."
To nobody's surprise, Johnson refused to go into the domestic dispute cases further, simply saying that all parties involved decided to go their own way with no hard feelings on his end.
Not stuck in the past, "Rumble" is simply looking ahead, to testing himself against one of the best fighters in the world in Gustafsson's own hometown.
And while he admitted to crying behind closed doors when he learned of the fight, Johnson says he will have no problem letting the tears flow in public if he manages to defeat Gustafsson and ultimately win the title.