Rumble: I was young and stupid, hit a wall, and grew


Anthony Johnson has had a long, famous fight with weight limits. He twice missed weight at 170 in the UFC, once missing out on 20% of his purse plus a Knockout of the Night bonus because of it. Then he moved up to 185, and weighed in at 196 vs. Vitor Belfort, who choked him out in the first, and he was released.

His next fight, vs. David Branch at Titan FC, he missed weight again. His opponent did too. His next fight for Titan FC was at light heavyweight. Eight months later, he beat Andrei Arlovski, at heavyweight.

So what was going wrong when he was missing weight?

“I was young and stupid," said Johnson to the LVRJ. "Plain and simple. Stupid in the cage, stupid out of the cage. I was just stupid back then. I was just making dumb choices and not doing things the way I needed to. Just young and dumb and not caring as much as I should have. I can’t say I didn’t care because I did care. But my head just wasn’t completely in it.

“I don’t blame UFC and Dana for cutting me. They did what they had to do and I respect that."

Johnson matured into a light heavyweight The heavy-handed former JUCO national champ was won six fights in a row outside the UFC. Saturday night he makes his return, vs. Phil Davis at UFC 172, live on PPV.

“I haven’t thought about a second chance," said Johnson. "I kinda just went with the flow of life, and if it happened, it happened, and if it didn’t, it didn’t. I didn’t put all my eggs in the basket of getting back here. I was focused on performing for whoever I was working for at the time.”

“When I was first in UFC I was just an athlete that didn’t know much and was just relying on natural ability to get by. Now, I’m someone who actually loves the sport. It was fun back then, but it’s more fun now. I had to mature.”

“I finally hit the wall where I had no choice but to grow. Everybody has to go through that in their life. Every man has been through that point in their life where they think they know everything. You just have to hit that wall where you just realize I don’t know everything, and that’s when you start accepting things and become willing to expand your mind and learn.”

Saturday the Blackzilian, and the world, will get a chance to see what he has learned.

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Recent Comments »

Jake95 site profile image  

4/26/14 1:09 AM by Jake95

Man give Melvin whatever Anthony had.

xsrg95 site profile image  

4/25/14 7:04 PM by xsrg95

shit, don't know if this pic was posted but remember this fight. now charlie is 155 and rumble is 205.

zebers3 site profile image  

4/25/14 11:24 AM by zebers3

I'm glad to see Rumble back, I think this is a winnable fight for him. Davis has great wrestling obviously but I never found his wrestling to translate the best to MMA like it did for someone like Askren. He eventually wears guys down but he's struggled early on to get Lil Nog down in their fight, got outwrestled by Rashad, and eventually got Lyoto down for a second but couldn't keep him there. I can see Rumble defending well in the first half of the fight while they're fresh, but if he doesn't get the finish in that time then I think Davis takes the decision.

jude099 site profile image  

4/25/14 11:14 AM by jude099

He wont make weight

jmfp site profile image  

4/25/14 10:28 AM by jmfp

Its been a long time since we've seen Johnson on the ground. He could be a monster there too by now. It seems like he has matured a lot since being cut by the ufc and is focused more on fixing his weaknesses and is extremely dedicated.It'd be great to see Johnson out grapple Davis. I know its not likely, but elite wrestlers get surprised at times like Brunson did to Romero. I'm not a fan of how Phil is acting right now. He's talking a mile of shit a minute about Jones and acting like Johnson is of no concern. I hope AJ knocks him out and puts a little humility in him

Brigham site profile image  

4/25/14 10:21 AM by Brigham

What a great analysis of this fight. Voted up

Aaron Becker site profile image  

4/25/14 10:12 AM by Aaron Becker

I wish him and Davis weren't fighting each other. I don't want either to lose

Kirik site profile image  

4/25/14 9:51 AM by Kirik


Brockback Mountain site profile image  

4/25/14 9:44 AM by Brockback Mountain

Good analysis. Agree with everything said here.

Giventofly99 site profile image  

4/25/14 9:19 AM by Giventofly99

Johnson is an underdog here but a very live one in my opinion. He wont outwresle Phil but all 3 rounds start standing and I think Phil has some vulnerability there. I also think AJ has decent enough wrestling to defend the takedown. If it does hit the ground AJ is in trouble. His bjj is not that good and Phils submission and ground is outstanding. That gator roll will end this with a quick sub. Standing Fight AJ is the better man.