Fans were stunned by the news that Anthony Johnson had parted ways with the UFC and signed to Bellator. For the first time since news broke, he addresses his departure from the UFC, and shoots down some rumors about a potential opponent for his Bellator debut.
There was a ton of excitement surrounding the idea of “Rumble” Johnson and his return to the Octagon. After flirting with a return for a while, he entered the USADA drug testing pool, and it seemed like his comeback was imminent. Yet in a surprising turn of events, it was revealed that he was not going to be fighting in the UFC after all, as he was released by the promotion, and signed to Bellator.
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The UFC Release Was A Mutual Decision
As shocking as this news was to fans, Anthony Johnson said it had been in the works for a little bit. The former light heavyweight title challenger spoke in a recent interview to explain the circumstances of his UFC release. He says that it was a fairly amicable split, and that he has nothing negative to say about how he was treated.
“Honestly man, my time just ran out right now,” Johnson said. “They’re focused on the younger generation. It was no bad blood, nothing negative, no animosity. I still have the utmost respect for Zuffa, Dana White, the whole nine. UFC, it made me who I am today.
So I have nothing but love for them. I’ll go up to any of them and shake their hands, but they gave me the opportunity to start a new journey and I took it. I took it, and now I’m at Bellator and I’m ready to see what I can do there.
“I knew before you guys knew,” Rumble Johnson continued. “I’m just not the type to run my mouth, you know that. Some people run their mouth and it gets them in trouble. I’d rather just keep my mouth closed and see how it plays out. I don’t want Dana talking bad about me leaving…honestly it was a mutual thing. There was no I need to go or you need to go. It was nothing like that.
Sometimes you can talk and it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s just the nature of the business. Doesn’t mean you have to have bad blood, doesn’t mean you have to say anything negative about anybody. But there was nothing bad to say in the beginning, and there’s nothing bad to say now. Honestly it was all good, through the whole process.”
Anthony Johnson Shoots Down Yoel Romero Rumors
Another person who was surprisingly released by the UFC and signed to Bellator, was Yoel Romero. Recently the former middleweight title challenger said that he was moving up to light heavyweight, and that there was a “90% chance” of him fighting Anthony Johnson in his debut. If this is true, Rumble says that nobody has approached him about it. That being said, he is not opposed to the fight.
“Dude, like nobody’s said a word to me,” Johnson said. “It is what it is. You know me man, I don’t pick out fights. I’ll let them come to me. If it makes sense I’ll take it, if it doesn’t then what’s the point? Once again, I can’t call out anybody.
If Yoel said it was 90% or whatever he said, I don’t know where he gets his information from. Nobody’s approached me about it. Maybe that’s his way of calling me out nicely, I have no idea. If he calls me out, he calls me out…we’ll just roll the dice and see what happens.”
Whether he ends up fighting Yoel Romero or somebody else, it is just going to be exciting to see Anthony Johnson in the cage again. With the way Bellator’s light heavyweight division has been shaping up, this is not the worst move for him to make.