Suspension over: Anthony Johnson cleared to return to UFC

Anthony Johnson free to return to the UFC.

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The civil lawsuit pending against UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson in a domestic-violence case has been dismissed and he will be returning to the UFC immediately after serving an indefinite suspension since September.

UFC president Dana White made the announcement on Instagram on Thursday.

"Civil case against Anthony Johnson is dismissed," White wrote. "Cleared to resume competition."

Civil Case against Anthony Johnson is dismissed- Cleared to Resume Competition. For full story go to UFC. Com

A photo posted by Dana White (@danawhiteufc) on

Johnson was in limbo after allegations were raised from an ex-girlfriend who had levied domestic-violence charges against the fighter while also filing for a restraining order.

Following White’s initial statement, the UFC released more information on the court case and Johnson’s return.

"The person who filed a civil temporary protection order against UFC contender Anthony Johnson last September voluntarily dismissed their complaint last week in the Florida Circuit Court," said UFC officials. "Before granting a dismissal of the case, the presiding judge independently questioned the alleging party regarding their voluntary intentions, and thereafter the judge dismissed the entire matter. 

"The dismissal of the case, along with an independent investigation that was commissioned by the UFC organization, brings closure to this matter for Johnson and allows him to return to competition in the UFC. As a result, UFC officials are exploring options for Johnson’s next fight to take place early next year."

With Johnson ready to fight again it appears all hurdles are cleared to put together the matchup he was previously set to take against top ranked contender Alexander Gustafsson.

Johnson and Gustafsson were expected to headline the UFC Fight Night on FOX card on December 13 in Phoenix before the suspension was handed down.  Gustafsson was then expected to face Johnson’s teammate, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans in January.

Unfortunately, Evans won’t be ready in time to fight by January and with Johnson now clear of any legal entanglements, it appears a bout against Gustafsson would seem likely.

The UFC has yet to make any formal announcement about Johnson’s next fight, but that news could happen at any time now that his suspension is over.