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Dana White offers grim outlook on UFC return of Anthony Johnson — ‘He sort of disappeared again’

UFC 202 - Open Workouts Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight title contender, Anthony Johnson, has been teasing a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) for the past couple of years, first at heavyweight and then again at light heavyweight.

So what the hell is taking so long?

Only Johnson knows for sure. “Rumble” transitioned to the weightlifting world and ballooned up to a staggering 285 pounds, so he certainly had some extra baggage to drop off before returning to the light heavyweight division.

And he also had to answer a few questions for the folks at USADA.

“You know what, there was talk about it for a minute and then it all stopped and he sort of disappeared again,” UFC President Dana White said over the weekend (transcribed by Adam Martin). “Listen, it is good because if you don’t wanna fight and if you walked away the first time, and you’re coming back for what? What are you coming back for? If it’s just a payday, he’s a smart kid, he can go do a lot of other things man.”

Johnson (22-6), who turned 36 back in March, walked away from combat sports in the wake of his submission loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 back in early 2017. The years that followed have not proved favorable for the former welterweight, who was declared “indigent” in May 2019.

Safe to say the medical marijuana business did not pan out.

Now would be a great time for the power-punching “Rumble” to return as the light heavyweight division is currently fighting over the scraps left by Jon Jones, who may or may not be retired. A Thiago Santos brawl-for-all sounds like a helluva lotta fun, but only if Johnson can find his way back into the cage.