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Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson parts ways with UFC, sets sail for Bellator MMA

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The Anthony Johnson vs. Jon Jones fantasy fight looks like it will stay just that — a fantasy — now that “Rumble” has parted ways with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and hooked up with Bellator MMA.

That’s according to ESPN.

Following word that Yoel Romero and UFC parted ways, promotion president Dana White revealed that up to 60 fighters would be cut from the roster. Speculation (as it always does) immediately ran rampant about who would sign where; in particular, whether or not Bellator MMA (and the deep pockets of ViacomCBS) would cherry pick some of the bigger names available.

Now we have our answer.

After three years of inactivity dating back to a title fight loss to Daniel Cormier in 2017 where Johnson abruptly retired from the combat sports, the now 36 year-old “Rumble” (22-6) will bring his fearsome knockout power to the Bellator cage.

It’s hard to predict how the layoff will affect Johnson, who spent his time away from the sport bouncing around from pot farms, to bodybuilding, and even bareknuckle appearances, but recent videos of “Rumble” smashing the pads may give us some insight.

In addition, 72 percent of his wins (16 of 22) have come by KO, and prior to his unexpected layoff he finished Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira in three successive fights. The only question left is... who gets to rumble with Johnson first?

Hint: it won’t be the drug testers from USADA.

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