Anthony “Rumble” Johnson could return to the UFC before you know it.
Johnson was seated cage side for UFC 169 which has led to speculation that a deal with the UFC might not be far off. Fox Sports caught up with Johnson, but he remained largely coy about the situation. “I always talk to [Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta],” Johnson told FOX Sports. “We’re still working out some stuff, but we’ll see. Everything is going good so far.”
Usually where there is smoke there is fire. The last high profile free agent who was seen sitting cage side at a Zuffa event was StrikeForce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields. Shortly after sitting cage side, Shields agreed to a contract with the UFC.
Johnson would be a welcome addition to the UFC’s rapidly shrinking list of contenders for current Light-Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Jones is currently scheduled to meet Glover Texeira this April but has been quickly running out of contenders. Outside of Texeira, there seems to be only two other fighters that could make for a compelling matchup with “Bones.” One is former heavyweight Daniel Cormier and the other is former opponent Alexander Gustaffson. If Jones is able to make it through those three men, Johnson may be the UFC’s last remaining challenge for the current champion.
If Johnson is signed by the UFC, he would not be going to unfamiliar territory. Johnson competed in the promotion for almost five years as a welterweight before being cut after missing weight for the third time and losing to Vitor Belfort. Since his release, Johnson has accumulated six straight victories while competing at light-heavyweight and heavyweight. Johnson was last seen this past January when he knocked out former StrikeForce fighter Mike Kyle.
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