‘At Death’s Door’- Anthony Johnson Describes Dropping 40 Pounds To Fight as a Welterweight

Published 04/03/2021, 11:39 AM EDT
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)


Anthony Johnson was one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC a few years ago. He looked destined to become Light Heavyweight Champion and many thought he would beat Jon Jones. However, Jones pulled out of the fight, and ‘Rumble’would lose to Daniel Cormier for the title.

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However, his journey started years ago as an oversized Welterweight. He struggled to make weight when he was a 170-pounder and has opened up on how he made that weight and whether he regrets fighting after cutting 40 pounds.

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“A lot of prayer and a lot of cardio. Half the time I didn’t make it, other half I did. Even when I did make it, I felt like I was at death’s door. At the steps of death to croak. But I’m glad I didn’t take any serious damage while cutting weight because I was dropping from 210 to 170. Which is 40 pounds and most people can’t do 10. For me to do that, I was having the mentality of bigger, stronger, faster. I know how that was a big thing back in the day. I don’t regret it, I wouldn’t take back the losses at 170. Not making weight and all that. I wouldn’t be who I was today if I hadn’t made those mistakes.”

Anthony Johnson: Was the weight cut a bad idea?

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Rumble Johnson had a sound logic behind cutting weight. It’s the same reason why Max Holloway cuts to 145 and why Conor McGregor also cut to that weight. The bigger a fighter is, the more pronounced their advantage in a fight.

LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 20: Anthony Johnson celebrates his first-round knockout win over Glover Teixeira in their light heavyweight bout at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

However, it didn’t work out like that for Rumble. While he was phenomenal, the weight cut wasn’t worth the results. He would move up to 185 pounds but would still miss weight at that division. It seemed like 205 would be his home, but he had an unexpected early retirement which then saw him become over 300 pounds.

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He was supposed to return for the UFC, but the pandemic ruined those plans. He was recently released and is now expected to fight Yoel Romero in Bellator for his promotional debut in his weight division of 205.

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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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