Anthony Johnson
Rumble

USA

Targeting summer return
HeavyweightOther
November 18, 2019
Johnson (not injury related) is hoping to return to the UFC in summer of 2020, Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie reports.
ANALYSIS
Johnson announced his intent to come out of retirement in August, but he said that he has yet to enter the six-month testing window required by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. As a result, he is targeting a return in June or July after initially anticipating to be back in the Octagon by late spring. Johnson intends to compete as a heavyweight, where he hopes to have an advantage in speed. "Rumble" carries a 22-6 record as a professional fighter with a 12-6 record while fighting in the UFC, but he has not fought since April of 2017. He still needs to initiate discussions with the promotion, but it appears as though the 35-year-old is getting closer to a return to the Octagon.
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Planning UFC comeback
HeavyweightOther
August 27, 2019
Johnson is planning to come out of retirement and return to the Octagon in 2020 as a heavyweight fighter, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Johnson retired in April 2017, shortly after losing a light heavyweight title fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 210. The 35-year-old, who owns a 22-6-0 career MMA record, plans on filling out the necessary paperwork soon in order to rejoin the UFC's mandatory drug program. The United States Anti-Doping Agency requires athletes returning from retirement to complete a six-month testing window before resuming competition, so Johnson presumably won't be scheduled to make his return fight until at least February or March.
Considering UFC heavyweight division
HeavyweightOther
October 3, 2017
Johnson's manager told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that "Rumble" is considering a comeback and is meeting with Dane White this week to discuss options.
ANALYSIS
Johnson shockingly announced his retirement from the UFC after a submission loss to current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in April. After stating a comeback wasn't happening anytime soon, "Rumble" seems to have reconsidered and is thinking about joining the UFC's heavyweight division. Johnson has only competed at the 265-pound weight class once in his career -- a unanimous decision claimed against Andrei Arlovski at WSOF 2 back in 2013. Manager Ali Abdel-Aziz stated that "Rumble" is meeting with Dana White this week about the possibility of coming out of retirement. While nothing has been decided at this point, it is important to note that Johnson wouldn't be able to compete with the UFC until after being part of the USADA's testing pool for at least six months
Not considering comeback
HeavyweightOther
July 30, 2017
Johnson is not considering a comeback and is instead focusing on his medicinal marijuana business, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Johnson retired after a loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210, and was involved in a legal battle over recuperating the 20 percent of Cormier's purse that would have gone to Johnson had he missed weight. Rumble seemed to be in his athletic prime and his retirement was very sudden, but this seems to suggest he won't be making a comeback anytime soon. That said, he did note Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he could be enticed to come back if offered a fight against newly-crowned champion Jon Jones. He remains under contract with the UFC, which is important to note if/when he does come out of retirement.
Plans to file official complain against NYSAC
HeavyweightOther
April 11, 2017
Johnson intends to file a formal complaint with the New York State Athletic Commission over the agency's handling of Daniel Cormier's weigh-in procedures, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Johnson is hiring a respected and experienced lawyer in Craig Zimmerman to handle the case, but it's important to note that nothing about the fight's outcome can be overturned -- it's merely to recuperate the 20 percent of Cormier's purse that would have gone to Johnson had he missed weight. According to New York rules, however, fighters competing in championship fights have another two hours to make weight if they miss the mark the first time, despite the fact that most other MMA commissions only give fighters one shot. With that wrinkle in play, it's unclear if the now-retired Johnson should expect to see success in this legal battle.
Shockingly retires following loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210
HeavyweightOther
April 8, 2017
Johnson shockingly announced his retirement from MMA following a submission loss to Daniel Cormier in Saturday's UFC Light Heavyweight Championship fight at UFC 210 in Buffalo.
ANALYSIS
That is not a misprint. Rumble, age 33, was more than willing to grapple with DC as opposed to trying to knock his head off, so perhaps that should have been our first clue that something was amiss. Johnson told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview that there was another job offer outside the world of MMA that he decided to accept, and he thought it was time to try something new. According to Johnson, the only people who knew that he planned to step aside were his coaches. Even UFC President Dana White wasn't aware of his plans. Would Rumble still have retired if he won? We'll never know the answer to that for sure, but Johnson sure made it sound like that was the case either way. It was a shocking announcement from a guy who still appeared to be in his athletic prime. Questionable game plan aside, no one could have ever seen this coming. Johnson was visibly emotional as he was making his announcement. The entire situation is very, very strange. If Rumble truly is done with the sport, hopefully he's happy in what ever new career path he chooses.