Anthony Johnson Says ‘Jon Jones Was the Reason’ For Important UFC Decision

Published 12/17/2020, 8:28 AM EST
INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 29: Jon Jones celebrates his KO victory over Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC 232 event inside The Forum on December 29, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Anthony Johnson was recently released from the UFC amidst their planned cuts. However, Rumble isn’t too upset with it. The one thing he is actually upset about is never being able to fight Jon Jones.

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“Jon was the reason I went up to 205. Besides, I hated losing as much weight as I was losing. Being able to fight the pound-for-pound guy, number one guy ever at 205, that’s an honor to be able to compete against somebody like that. The way I was on a roll and with the way, it’s Jon.

“You know, the way he fights, it would’ve been a great matchup. I knew he would’ve been one of my toughest tasks in front of me. But mentally, I was there whenever it was time to fight Jon. I was mentally prepared.”

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Rumble added, “Not fighting Jon took a lot of life out of me. He was my main focus, he was the guy. It was an honor to fight DC, he’s amazing. One of the best ever, with Jon around or not. But my main goal was to fight Jon.”

Jones vs Rumble was booked for UFC 187. However, after Jones’s infamous hit-and-run incident, JBJ was pulled from the card for Daniel Cormier. Cormier would become Light Heavyweight champion after beating Rumble.

Anthony Johnson: A missed opportunity?

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Fighting Jon Jones is a massive thing, even if some people may undersell it. He is inarguably the best fighter the 205 division has ever seen. While you can argue his status as an all-time GOAT, he is easily number one in a division with historically stacked talent.

LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 20: Anthony Johnson celebrates after defeating Glover Teixeira of Brazil in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Johnson fell from the upper echelons of the rankings soon after and announced his retirement from the sport. However, he announced a return to UFC’s heavyweight division last year. Now he will possibly debut in Bellator in the Light Heavyweight division against another released fighter, Yoel Romero.

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It is sad to see Rumble miss out on that fight, considering it meant so much to him. However, everyone should be excited for his upcoming Bellator run.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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