clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Midnight Mania! Anthony Johnson willing to return to UFC for the right price

New, 27 comments

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

MMA: UFC 202-Johnson vs Teixeria Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Over the weekend, Anthony Johnson filled in on short-notice at Submission Underground 9 against ace grappler Craig Jones. To the surprise of no one, Johnson’s massive muscles were not able to stop Jones’ leg-locking prowess, as the grappler wrapped up and submitted “Rumble” in short fashion.

Johnson was cheery and unbothered in the post-fight interview, but when announcer Chael Sonnen asked him about the potential for a UFC comeback, “Rumble” kept the door open, saying he’d take a fight “if the price is right.”

It’s an interesting time for Johnson to be potentially returning to the spotlight. Given his massive size — Johnson weighed in for the grappling bout at 280 lbs. — there’s little doubt that any return would be at Heavyweight. A Heavyweight “Rumble” likely has all the positive and negative traits of the slightly smaller one, just amplified even further. Most notably, his knockout power would be even more threatening, but the gas tank would likely take a hit.

All the potential Heavyweight match ups are very exciting, but the idea of Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Johnson is particularly intriguing. Could you imagine a more tense contest? One clean punch from either is a definite knockout blow.

The more bizarre but still quite interesting rumor swirling around online is that Johnson will return to combat under the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship banner. He already partnered up with them in some type of “ambassador role,” but last week the rumor emerged that he would fight Alexander Emelianenko in a Heavyweight title fight. I don’t know if the UFC would allow that to happen given his contract, but “Rumble” without gloves is a certain recipe for crazy violence.


Roughly 20 hours from when this post airs, one of my first training partners and close friends, Joe Solecki, will headline Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Solecki was really one of the first people I looked up to when I started out, an example of dedication and perseverance. Put simply, the kid was no good at jiu-jitsu for roughly 10 years — it only really clicked for him at about the age of 16, which was a bit before I met him. Fast-forward a few years, and he earned his black belt at 24 and is a very promising fighter with a big opportunity on his hands.

Young me, a friend, Joe Solecki, and jiu-jitsu competitor John Battle at a Grappler’s Quest tournament in 2010

This highlight video of Jorge Masvidal — which includes his record-setting knockout from this weekend — is awesome.

Thiago Santos was nothing but class when faced with losing a split-decision after his knee imploded.

Speaking of, here’s how the Brazilian likely injured his knee. Since this explanation was posted, it’s been revealed that Santos tore pretty much everything in his knee, a likely result of kicking after injuring it the first time.

“The California Dad” returns to the cage on Saturday, which is reason enough to post this cool video about all the changes in Faber’s life and his hectic schedule, but I also make a cameo at about the 20 second mark!

Amanda Nunes is at the top and doesn’t have a care in the world.

Dana’s refusal to acknowledge that UFC 239’s main event was close or worthy of a rematch in the future is mildly infuriating.

Win, lose, or draw, Diego Sanchez kept it weird — what else can we really ask of “The Nightmare?”

Slips, rips, and KO clips

The inclusion of headbutts really changes what makes for good position in the clinch.

A nasty clock choke causes a deep sleep.

This isn’t even a Von Flue choke, it’s just straight up shoulder pressure.

Random Land

I wonder how long this actually took?

Midnight Music: It’s fight week in Sacramento, so let’s celebrate with the killer math rock band Hella. Between his work in Hella and role in the experimental hip-hop trio Death Grips, drummer Zach Hill really represents the best Sacramento has to offer musically... Sorry Deftones fans.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.