'Rumble' Johnson on potential UFC deal: 'We're still working out some stuff'
Anthony Johnson, arguably the hottest free agent in MMA right now, was seated rather conspicuously in the front row at UFC 169 on Saturday night.
Johnson said he was at Prudential Center to see his Blackzilians training partner Abel Trujillo fight, but he would be speaking with UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta while he’s here.
“I always talk to those guys,” Johnson told FOX Sports. “We’re still working out some stuff, but we’ll see. Everything is going good so far.”
Johnson, 29, finished up his contract with World Series Of Fighting after a devastating first-round knockout of Mike Kyle on Jan. 18. “Rumble” previously fought for the UFC from 2007-2012, but struggled to make weight at 170 pounds and was eventually released. Johnson now competes at 205 and seems to have found comfort in the light heavyweight division.
White said Thursday at UFC 169 media day that matchmaker Joe Silva mentioned Johnson recently.
“I like the kid,” White said. “I always did.”
Johnson said he hasn’t focused much on his next contract. He said he took a week off after the Kyle fight and jumped right back into the gym to help teammate Rashad Evans train for his fight against Daniel Cormier next month at UFC 170. Other than UFC and WSOF, Johnson said he didn’t know if any other organizations have shown interest in his services.
“Honestly, I have no idea,” Johnson said.
That doesn’t mean part of him isn’t savoring this experience as a hot commodity.
“I do enjoy kind of being on the market and trying to see who’s the highest bidder,” Johnson said. “It feels good that I’m wanted by somebody.”