It’s not easy being a top-ranked MMA fighter. In addition to weathering liver kicks, elbows to the brain and the interview stylings of Joe Rogan, there’s also the unofficial gig of being your own matchmaker. In 2017, if you’re not strategizing your fight marketability, you’re half-assing it. The opportunity to get that “red panty” money from the UFC’s new brass is there and savvy competitors aren’t shy about thinking ahead. For example, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is already musing about what else is in store for him in the light heavyweight division beyond UFC 210.
Johnson, who will be taking on current light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier in Buffalo this April, discussed his post-fight options on Monday’s The MMA Hour. He expressed interest in fighting former gold standard Jon Jones when he returns from his USADA gifted vacation this summer.
“He should be (next). I think he still should be,” said Johnson.
This news will likely give Dana White warm sensations throughout his shiny dome. The UFC prez spoke in glowing terms about that potential tilt last summer and with attractions like Conor McGregor playing hardball and Ronda Rousey out possibly forever, the value of another pushed name brand fighter (including one in exile over drug penalties) is pretty high at this stage. Still, Johnson has other contenders in his field of vision in the division too.