Anthony Johnson's history with the UFC had its ups and downs, both competitively and professionally. Johnson was a knockout artist and fan favorite with the company, but he constantly struggled making weight. That's why he used to be a welterweight and now finds himself two weight classes up at light heavyweight.
Currently, Johnson is one of the top stars in World Series of Fighting—an up-and-coming promotion with the backing of NBC Sports. He has stayed in the spotlight and impressed the masses with his knockout power and feared aura.
Here are four reasons why the UFC should swoop in and attempt to re-sign Johnson to its promotion.
Phil Davis has become a top light heavyweight
The light heavyweight division is currently one of the least inhabited weight classes in the UFC. Even though the division is laden with talent, it could use additional depth to bring it back to the glory days of not long ago.
Johnson was a massive welterweight. He was a big middleweight as well (as he still had weight-cutting issues). As a light heavyweight, he is a normal size. That should not matter, especially given his physical strength and fighting skill.
Just think of the potential matchups with Glover Teixeira, Thiago Silva and Gegard Mousasi.
It's funny how one "bad" performance can get you labeled for an extended period of time. That's what happened to Anthony Johnson after his conservative bout with Dan Hardy.
If one thing is certain, it's that Johnson is a finisher. In fact, 10 of his 15 wins have come via knockout, including three nasty head kicks.
His ability to end a fight in just one strike is an asset not all men possess. It's a game changer.
There is no doubt that the top draw for World Series of Fighting right now is Anthony Johnson. After the three events it has had already and the two planned out, Johnson will have been in two main events and another heavily advertised main card bout.
Johnson is one of the few draws World Series of Fighting has right now. He and Andrei Arlovski are the two certified stars of the company as it tries to build guys like Tyrone Spong and Marlon Moraes.
If the UFC took Johnson out of its company, World Series of Fighting would take a pretty big hit. Strategically, it's a smart move.
Alexander Gustafsson is currently the top contender.
Anthony Johnson has shown maturity and the ability to win tough fights since his departure from the UFC.
He is 5-0 since leaving the company, beating UFC veterans and regional competition alike. He has knocked out Esteves Jones, Jake Rosholt and DJ Linderman, while taking decisions over Dave Branch and Andrei Arlovski.
That type of record has boosted Johnson's stock tremendously. The drastic weight cut has given him more energy in fights and allowed him to show he isn't just a lower-weight-class bully.
It's time for the UFC to bring back "Rumble."