They say never look a gift horse in the mouth, and the possibility of heavy hitting Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson returning to the UFC certainly qualifies as a gift to fans. We’ve watched Johnson grow (literally and figuratively) before our eyes over the past 10 years from a welterweight all the way up to light heavyweight, and now his manager says he wants to un-retire and fight at heavyweight.
“Rumble Johnson, we plan on him fighting — it has to make sense for him,” Ali Abdelaziz said on The MMA Hour. “Me and him have been talking. He’ll come back as a heavyweight. We want him to come back as a heavyweight.”
“We’re meeting with the UFC this week to see what he wants to do. Dana White really loves Anthony Johnson. How can you not love Anthony Johnson? He’s terrifying. But we’ll see what happens.”
Dana might love Rumble, but he also knows that the moment you start thinking of retiring from fighting, you should. The sport is just too hard and there are too many negative consequences if you keep going without fully committing your life to it. Johnson retired seemingly out of nowhere after losing to Daniel Cormier earlier this year in April. It was a fight he came ridiculously close to winning early on before buckling under pressure from Cormier in the second round. His coach walked out of the arena moments after the final bell in frustration. After he revealed his intention to retire, many questioned if he’d given up halfway through the fight.
Johnson didn’t leave much wiggle room after he wrapped things up, describing training as a slog and expressing concern he might get bran damage if he kept fighting. “When I say I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it,” he said. “I’m finished, man. I’m not about that life anymore.”
Now his manager says he’s interested in fighting again … if the price is right. That doesn’t sound like the right motivation at all, but Rumble nearly became the light heavyweight champ off the fumes of his passion for the sport. Money is a powerful motivator in its own right, so who are we to think he can’t make some serious waves at heavyweight after a premature retirement?