Anthony Johnson Open to Fighting Jon Jones for UFC Light Heavyweight Title

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27:  UFC light heavyweight Anthony
Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Anthony Johnson has said he will do what he can to make the light heavyweight limit and set up a fight with Jon Jones.

The man known as Rumble confirmed earlier this year he was set to return to the MMA scene following a two-and-a-half-year break from the sport.

Speaking about his comeback with Below the Belt (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting), the 35-year-old Johnson said he is eyeing a fight with Jones if his body can handle the weight cut:

"We'll make it happen if I get low enough. We'll fight at 205. That's a fight I wanted. I think Jon wanted that fight too, before everything happened.

"That situation, which, it's over with, it's in the past. When we see each other, there's no animosity between each other. We show each other love, you know what I mean? But that was a fight; that's why I went up to 205, man."

Jones and Johnson were set to fight at UFC 187, but the former was stripped of the light heavyweight title after being involved in a hit-and-run, and the bout was called off.

In place of Jones, Daniel Cormier stepped in to fight Rumble, and Cormier was the stronger man on the night, clinching the light heavyweight title after forcing a submission. He was also the winner when the duo met at UFC 210 in 2017—Johnson's last fight before his hiatus.

Speaking about the meeting with Cormier at UFC 187, Rumble said "the fire wasn't in me to fight DC," because he was so keen to test himself against Jones.

After the second fight, he announced in the Octagon that he was retiring from the sport:

Since making his own comeback in December 2018, the 32-year-old Jones has won three straight fights. He knocked out Alexander Gustafsson, beat Anthony Smith by unanimous decision and edged past Thiago Santos via a split decision in his most recent bout.

Santos put a huge physical toll on his body to come close to beating Jones:

Johnson was renowned for his brutal power during his time in the UFC, and aside from his two losses to Cormier, Rumble stopped his last five opponents inside the distance after some heavy striking. 

If he's able to retain that strength after another weight cut and some time off, it'd be intriguing to see how Jones would cope. However, while he may not have been at his best against Silva, the current light heavyweight champion is one of the best fighters of all time for a reason.

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