Anthony Johnson Looks To Get Back To Work At WSOF 8
Las Vegas - Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is a fighter that has been with WSOF since its inception and carries an undefeated record with the rising promotion. In just over a week, Johnson returns to action for the first time in nine months.
Prior to his career with WSOF, the man they call “Rumble” was competing in the UFC until he was let go from the promotion for multiple weight issues. Rather than feeling sorry for himself or making excuses, Johnson stayed busy and ripped off three straight wins (all via TKO) with regional promotions before receiving the call from WSOF. Johnson knew there was something different about the new promotion that was ready to make its presence known in the world of mixed martial arts.
“I think WSOF has done great things and will continue to do great things in the MMA world,” tells Johnson. “No one is really competing with UFC yet, but they are on a great path to be recognized as a top league in this sport. They have smart people working for them so I don't doubt their success will continue,” continued Johnson.
Upon signing the standout college wrestler, the WSOF booked him immediately for their inaugural event. Johnson’s debut would be in Las Vegas at WSOF 1 and against tough DJ Linderman, who was also riding a three fight win streak. Johnson quickly proved he is still on the elite level by earning a TKO late in the first round.
WSOF wasted no time in bringing Johnson back to the decagon. He would now face former undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion and current WSOF fighter, Andrei “The Pitbull” Arvloski, who was on a four fight win streak himself. The team at WSOF showed confidence with the matchup between Johnson and Arvloski as they made it the headlining fight at WSOF 2 in Atlantic City.
The fight featured back and forth action where both men had their moments. The night belonged to Johnson as he snapped Arvloski’s win streak and handed him his first loss in over a year by winning a unanimous decision.
Up next for Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is Mike Kyle at WSOF 8. This is the third time these two have been scheduled to meet. They were originally scheduled for WSOF 5 but Johnson had to pull out due to injury. The bout was then re-scheduled to take place in Canada for WSOF 7 but would end up being postponed due to Kyle suffering an injury.
Now Johnson and Kyle are set to meet at WSOF 8 in Hollywood, Florida on January 18th. The fight is the co-main event under the Gaethje vs Patishnock lightweight championship bout. For Johnson, he is hoping this third time is the charm. “Yes I'm happy its finally going to happen…I feel like I've been training for this fight for 6 months now (laughing),” said Johnson.
In preparation for Kyle, Johnson continues to put in work at the famed Blackzillians Training Center. “Training has been great, I've been so active in the gym,” tells Johnson. “Since my fight got pushed back I was able to dedicate a lot of time to helping my teammates prepare for their fights, which has been great. I've also been working with our strength and conditioning coach Jake Bonacci and he has me feeling faster and more conditioned than ever. I'm feeling really good right now,” he continued.
In a media conference call, WSOF President, Ray Sefo, said that with a win over Mike Kyle, Johnson will be in line for a title shot, “If Anthony comes out on top in this fight, he’ll definitely be fighting for a title in his next fight.”
Johnson knows that when it comes to MMA, it’s a team sport and is excited for what is ahead in 2014. “[I] want to say thanks to my teammates The Blackzilians, my coaches Henri Hooft, Jorge Santiago and my management Team at ASM for sticking with me,” said Johnson. “I know I've been out for a while, but trust me I'm coming back and fans should be excited to see what I'm gonna bring in 2014,” he continued.
With a win on Saturday, January 18th, Johnson will be on a 6-fight win streak and will get a title shot in his very next bout. Not bad for the man they call “Rumble.”