When talking about the greatest 205-pound fighters to ever compete in mixed martial arts (MMA), among the names most frequently mentioned are former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champions Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
Anthony Johnson belongs on that list, as well.
That’s according to Yoel Romero, who battles “Rumble” at the upcoming Bellator 258: “Archuleta vs. Pettis” event inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., a three-round slugfest that will air on Showtime following select “Prelims” bouts online.
“It’s a very special time,” Romero said during the Bellator 258 press conference (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “To be in this grand prix is very good for me. This is an incredible matchup. ‘Rumble’ Johnson is an amazing fighter. When I see ‘Rumble’ Johnson, I see in this division as the top guy. There are many good athletes in this division: Jonny (Jones), ‘DC’ (Daniel Cormier), Tito Ortiz. You need to put his name on this list.”
Johnson went 6-2 as a UFC light heavyweight with both losses coming to Cormier.
It should be noted that “Rumble, who turned 37 back in March, hasn’t competed in nearly four years. The good news for the ex-welterweight is that Romero (13-5) will be 44 at the end of the month and is coming off three straight losses, which is probably why the sportsbooks have them at (or close to) even money.
The winner of their May 7 showdown will continue in the promotion’s 205-pound tournament, which saw former UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader advance after turning away Lyoto Machida at Bellator 256 just a few weeks back.