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Anthony Johnson Signs With Bellator MMA for Return to Fighting

December 9, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Anthony Johnson Image Credit: UFC

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s return to MMA will not be happening inside the Octagon. Instead, the former title contender has opted to sign with Bellator MMA. ESPN reports that Anthony Johnson mutally parted ways with the UFC in November, per Johnson’s manager Ali Abdelaziz.

Johnson had been reportedly planning a return to MMA, and the belief was that he would return to the UFC. Following a loss to Daniel Cormier in a light heavyweight title bout at UFC 210 in April 2017, Johnson stepped away from fighting for over three years.

At 36 years old, Johnson is expected to fight in the Bellator light heavyweight division. His debut matchup and event have not yet been signed. Sources indicated that Johnson is likely to make his Bellator debut in the first half of 2021.

Abdelaziz commented on the news, “Anthony has signed with Bellator MMA and fans can expect to see him in late March or April. He will fight at heavyweight and light heavyweight. Anthony and I would like to thank Dana White, Hunter Campbell and the UFC for the opportunities he was given over the years, and he’s excited about this new chapter with Bellator.”

Previously, Johnson returned to the UFC in July 2014, then fighting as a light heavy heavyweight, and beating Antônio Rogério Nogueira. He later lost two bids for the UFC light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier. He ends his latest UFC run with an Octagon record of 12-6. He made his first UFC debut in 2007.

Anthony Johnson actually began his UFC career as a welterweight. He’s fought as high as heavyweight outside the Octagon.