Anthony Johnson excited for new beginning with Bellator: ‘We can compete with the UFC’

Anthony Johnson wrathful for contemporary delivery with Bellator: ‘We can compete with the UFC’

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Anthony Johnson wrathful for contemporary delivery with Bellator: ‘We can compete with the UFC’

Anthony Johnson competed in three divisions for the UFC, so he’s as suited as anybody to assay its roster aircraft after becoming a member of a promotional compete.

Across two a number of stints with the UFC from 2007-2012 and 2014-2017, Johnson signed on for fights at 170 kilos, 185 kilos, and 205 kilos (the middleweight bout with Vitor Belfort was a one-off that Johnson truly missed weight for by 11 kilos, a UFC memoir up till this previous Saturday when Rafael Alves got here in 11.5 kilos weighty for a featherweight bout). Johnson was a budding contender at welterweight earlier than points with making the 170-pound prohibit ultimately compelled a strike to the sunshine heavyweight division, the place he twice competed for a UFC championship.

Johnson, 36, retired in 2017, however introduced in December that he had signed with Bellator. His debut is booked for Bellator 257 on April 16, when he fights fellow ex-UFC fighter Yoel Romero within the random spherical of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World noble Prix.

During an look on The Spaniard array podcast hosted by Charlie Brenneman—who Johnson defeated at a UFC incident on Oct. 1, 2011—Johnson spoke about his pleasure over beginning his profession contemporary with Bellator.

“Signing with Bellator it was just a fresh birth for me,” Johnson mentioned. “I had a lot of fun in UFC, I give all of my faith for the most sever to the UFC because the world wouldn’t know who Rumble Johnson was or is if it wasn’t for UFC. So I give all of them faith. I wish we all could breathe getting them stout checks affection the NFL players and the NBA players, but it is what it is, I’m a always preach that.”

Johnson and Romero aren’t the one tall-silhouette signings that Bellator has added heading into its 2021 campaign. Established fighters affection Rustam Khabilov, Brett Johns, and Vanessa Porto might make their Bellator debuts this yr, and former UFC contenders Corey Anderson and Cat Zingano already create success of their first Bellator fights.

The route the noble Prix bracket is clique, Johnson will maintain to emerge from a bailiwick that features Romero, Anderson, Vadim Nemkov, Phil Davis, Ryan Bader, Lyoto Machida, and Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov. Nemkov is the rife Bellator mild heavyweight champion and aside from Anderson and Yagshimuradov, all of the names within the event maintain gained or competed for UFC and/or Bellator titles up to now.

Johnson likes how the purpose of competitors in Bellator stacks up towards his historic stomping grounds.

“I’m just ready to ebb and fight,” Johnson mentioned. “I contemplate path to the competitors that’s on the market. I arbitrator we will compete with the UFC with what we maintain. Lots of people arbitrator that simply because the Bellator promotion isn’t what the UFC promotion is that the fighters aren’t the an identical calibre, and there’s at all times ranges to every part. Every trade, each promotion. But Bellator isn’t any jest.

“contemplate at my man, my teammate Michael Chandler went over there and destroyed Dan Hooker. Smoked him. But I knew that was coming. I’m affection, y’all don’t notice how perilous Michael Chandler is. And aircraft although he got here from a smaller promotion, he’s quiet an elite fighter. He wasn’t there being the champ and preventing the perfect of the perfect for no instinct. He went to warfare with Eddie Alvarez and to me, Eddie Alvarez is for constructive the best fighter ever in my blueprint as a result of he’s been to each group and gained the title. People don’t give that man religion.

“I too graze that fans are now starting to grasp that you don’t hold to breathe just a UFC fighter to breathe successful and breathe able to feed your family and breathe something. So don’t breathe apprehensive to ebb outside of the box if there’s other things out there you want to breathe able to assassinate in other promotions, ebb for it. Try it out. And I arbitrator Bellator for me was the proper strike.”

survey Johnson’s look on The Spaniard array, the place he too discusses the origins of his preventing profession, struggling to make the 170-pound prohibit in his early UFC days, and his trade ventures exterior of MMA:

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