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White: Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson gets Top 10 opponent for UFC return

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UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson v Johnson Photo by Michael Campanella/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight title contender, Anthony Johnson, is expected to make his combat sports comeback at some point later this year, once he drops some of that unnecessary muscle mass and works out his drug-testing issues.

Upon his Octagon return, promotion president Dana White plans to pair the power-punching Johnson with a Top 10 opponent, which would make sense considering “Rumble” (22-6) was ranked No. 1 in the world at the time of his retirement.

Adam Martin with the screen grab from White’s AMA on Reddit:

Fan: Hey Dana, If Anthony “Rumble” Johnson finally comes back, which match up would you like for him to have first? personally, all the top 10 in LHW seem to be good match ups for him. Do you think he’d come back to a top 10 opponent, or a top 5? Him vs Santos would be crazy!

Dana White: I’d give him somebody in the top 10. Let’s see what the landscape looks like when he comes back.

Either Volkan Oezdemir (No. 6) or Aleksandar Rakic (No. 9) interest me.

Johnson abruptly retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) in the wake of his submission loss to Daniel Cormier roughly three years back, which is unfortunate when you consider his 6-2 run at 205 pounds — with his only two losses during that span coming against “DC.”

At age 36, there’s no telling what version of Johnson we can expect if and when he finally does step into the Octagon. In addition, “Rumble” has long been plagued with personal problems outside the cage, so there are certainly a fair share of variables ahead of his UFC return.