Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson provides career update: ‘It’s a big step forward’
It’s been a year since we saw Anthony “Rumble” Johnson resume his mixed martial arts (MMA) career as part of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. Unfortunately for one of the sport’s most feared forwards, he’s expected to put things back on the ice soon after.
Johnson made his promotional debut in May 2021 opposite Jose Augusto. Originally slated to be Yoel Romero, “The Soldier of God” was not cleared to compete, leading to Johnson and Augusto putting on one of the best showcases of the year.
Scoring a second-round knockout win (watch highlights), Johnson stepped forward to create a title shot against champion Vadim Nemkov. An undisclosed illness then surfaced for the 38-year-old and it was unclear whether Johnson would be able to compete again or not.
As of Wednesday (May 11, 2022), that has changed.
“1st DAY BACK [rocket and trending upward emoji]”, posted Johnson on Instagram. “If you knew the path I am on, you would understand that this is a big step. When I return, you will see a different and more dangerous version of what you have already seen [email protected] [flex emoji] always has me ready when a battle is announced. Nothing to announce for the moment but I hope that before the end of the year I will have the green light. Shout out to my sponsor @reignbodyfuel [fist and flex emoji] for adjustment. #RumbleSquad #Reignbodyfuel”
“Rumble” retired from MMA in the Octagon following his second loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in April 2017. During his time at Light Heavyweight in the UFC, Johnson’s only losses came against Cormier in title fights, both times seeing him submitted via second-round rear-naked choke.
As of now, the Grand Prix has been extended by at least one more fight, as the final fight between Nemkov and Corey Anderson last month (April 15, 2022) ended in a “No Contest” after a accidental headbutt (see highlights). A rematch is expected before the end of the year.