After many bumps in the road, Anthony “The Rumble” Johnson has found the right weight class.
Johnson has competed at welterweight, middleweight and in many catchweight fights, but hasn’t had success once his 6-foot-2 frame stepped on the scale. After missing weight several times in a row, Johnson will make his light heavyweight debut on Aug. 24.
Johnson will take on Esteves Jones at Titan Fighting Championships 24 from the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. Many fans are anticipating this move to 205, but they shouldn’t have to worry about Johnson’s battle with the scale this time around.
The 28-year-old walks around at over 200 pounds, and throughout his entire career has struggled at cutting all of the weight necessary to make the 170- and 185-pound limits. The result of dropping down has caused Johnson to not be up to par in his fights, including in crucial ones that could have put him in title contention.
Two examples of this are his bouts with Josh Koscheck and Vitor Belfort.
Against Koscheck, Johnson put on a fight that earned “Fight of the Night” honors, but after the second round came, Johnson slowed down and was eventually submitted by Koscheck. Rumble had been on a three-fight winning streak at that point, but couldn’t win the big one due to cardio issues.
Coming into his fight with Belfort, Johnson had the eyes of UFC President Dana White on him after his previous struggles with weight cuts. The day before the fight, Johnson missed weight badly, tipping the scales at 197 pounds, a full 11 pounds over the middleweight limit. The UFC had no choice but to make the fight a catchweight bout, but even then, Johnson was finished in the first round by Belfort via submission.
White immediately released Johnson, forcing Rumble to move elsewhere. That’s when Titan Fighting Championships came to pull Johnson out of the mess he was in.
The promotion signed him to a fight against Dave Branch in May, but once again, Johnson didn’t take the training camp seriously. Rumble was way overweight again, making it his second catchweight fight in a row. Johnson would go on to defeat Branch by unanimous decision, but it was arguably the fighter’s worst performance of his six-year career.
On Aug. 24, Johnson will get another chance to prove to everyone and himself that he can still compete at a high level. With this fight against Jones coming at light heavyweight, fans will see the guy who previously reeled off impressive performances every time he stepped inside the cage.
If all goes well, Johnson should make weight for this fight, come in looking fit, and deliver with a spectacular performance on Friday night.
Photo: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)