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Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson ready for a Bellator light heavyweight grand prix

UFC 210: Cormier v Johnson 2 Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It feels like yesterday that we were laughing at Bellator president Scott Coker’s claim that Bellator had the best light heavyweight division in the sport. And while that’s still a pretty tall claim, we do have to admit that coming into 2021, Bellator’s 205 pound division is looking pretty fire.

Just added to the promotion: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Yoel Romero, two fearsome competitors who will make life at the top of the division hard for Ryan Bader, Vadim Nemkov, Corey Anderson, and Phil Davis.

First, the promotion may just go ahead with Romero vs. Johnson, which sounds pretty great to us. But if “Rumble” had a say, he’d prefer it went down in a grand prix tournament.

“Man, I’m used to PRIDE,” Johnson said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “You know what I mean? When they had the tournaments and stuff like that. You know what I mean? If we could do stuff like that, I’m definitely down.”

In a recent interview, Coker admitted the current plans involved a bantamweight and women’s tournament, but 205 was now in play as well.

“Now we’re talking about the 205 (division),” he said. “It’s definitely in the conversation, but we just haven’t decided. But that’s something we’ll figure out in the next 20 days, and we’ll be locked and loaded and ready to go.”

It’s a slam dunk as far as we’re concerned, and something that would really help improve Bellator’s visibility as it tries to establish itself in its new Thursday night timeslot on the CBS Sports Network.

If it’s not a tournament, Johnson isn’t too picky regarding first, second, or third opponent. He just wants to get back to work.

“I look forward to competing against everybody,” he said. “I’m not calling out just one person. I look forward to competing against all of them. All of them are top fighters to me regardless.”