During his time in the UFC, Anthony Johnson was always looked at as a blue-chip talent, albeit one that could not truly be counted upon to fulfill his obligation of making weight. Three times in a career that spanned less than five years, he failed to miss his mark, and the last straw came when he moved up a division from his usual welterweight class and still managed to miss weight by 11 pounds. He lost the fight against Vitor Belfort and was promptly cut from the organization.
In the time since, however, Johnson has managed to reinvent himself as a light-heavyweight, and a promising one. Since leaving the UFC, he’s gone 6-0 with four knockouts, and after his last win, he has become a free agent.
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Me and [matchmaker] Joe [Silva] were talking about him the other day. I like the kid. I always did.”
- Dana White
With that resume, consider the UFC interested.
“Me and [matchmaker] Joe [Silva] were talking about him the other day,” Dana White said on Thursday. “I like the kid. I always did.”
White said since Johnson and the organization parted ways, he’s watched him fight twice. One was a decision win over another former UFC standout, Andrei Arlovski, and the other was against an opponent he couldn’t remember.
Despite a pro career that dates back to 2006, Johnson is just 29 years old. He went 7-4 in an 11-fight run with the UFC from 2007-’12. His most notable win came against Dan Hardy in 2011 but he also had memorable knockouts of Charlie Brenneman and Yoshiyuki Yoshida, among others. Eleven of his 16 career wins are by knockout.
His most recent win came at World Series of Fighting 8, when he knocked out Mike Kyle in less than three minutes.