Anthony “Rumble” Johnson the former two-time UFC title contender has agreed to terms with Bellator, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has mutually parted ways with the UFC and has agreed to terms with Bellator, sources told @arielhelwani.
Johnson is expected to sign his deal imminently and compete as a light heavyweight in the first half of 2021. pic.twitter.com/UJvXkkjGFW
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 9, 2020
In a shocking turn of events this morning, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-6) is heading to Bellator. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani broke the news this morning saying that Johnson had parted ways with the UFC and signed with Bellator. Johnson recently mutually parted ways with the UFC, according to sources. He announced earlier this year that he planned on coming out of retirement to resume his fighting career, though the initial thought was he would return to the UFC.
“Honestly, I missed the sport, you know what I mean? I missed the sport, I miss competing. So I knew at one point, I was against guys coming back from retirement. You know, you usually see them get mopped up. You know, BJ Penn came back and got mopped up. I’ve seen everybody that came back out of retirement get mopped up.
Even then Rumble was already considering life after the UFC and had eyed up a move to BKFC but has now reportedly opted to signed with Bellator instead.
“I just don’t wanna be one of those guys that get mopped up, but I still feel good, I have no injuries,” Johnson said. “While I was in the UFC, I didn’t really get hit much unless I lost, and that wasn’t often. But, you never know. You know, I got a couple more fights on my contract with the UFC, and then after that you know, I may fight for Dave (Feldman).”
Rumble Johnson, 36, is slated to compete in Bellator’s light heavyweight division. While his debut fight isn’t set yet, he is expected to fight in the first half of 2021, sources said.
“Rumble” hasn’t competed since his April 2017 loss to then-UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Johnson retired immediately after the defeat.
After going 6-0 outside the company, he returned in 2014 as a light heavyweight. He won three fights in a row before losing to Cormier for the first time in a vacant 205-pound title fight in 2015. He would go on to win three more in a row before losing to Cormier again in 2017.
Johnson, a fan favorite who is considered one of the hardest-hitting fighters in the world, started his career as a welterweight and has fought as high as a heavyweight. He made his UFC debut in 2007.
Who do you think Anthony “Rumble” Johnson should fight first in Bellator?
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