Bellator

Bellator Goes Rumblin’: Bellator & Anthony “Rumble” Johnson Ink Deal

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Great white sharks are at the top of the food chain and aren’t likely to be killed by other sea creatures. Why is this very random but very cool fact about a great white shark mentioned? Because a great white shark by the name of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson just signed with Bellator, after a mutual parting of ways between him and the UFC.

From UFC to Bellator

Listen. I know we’re all upset that we never got that fight, Anthony Johnson against Jon Jones (Either at LHW or HW), but there’s positives to this. It’s a smart and tactical move for both promotions involved. Dana White gets his roster cut without losing someone young with great potential. Scott Coker gets someone with brand value and could be a top-tier contender in their LHW division. Rumble, with his agent Ali Abdelaziz, knew he would get top dollar in whichever promotion he would choose to continue his career in. Bellator President Scott Coker also recently underwent a big roster influx.

Ever since they restarted after the pandemic occurred, they’ve been trying to get away from the “UFC Castaway” (Sounds like a reality TV show) brand. They’ve been moving in a self-promoting direction, deciding to stick with homegrown talents like Valerie Loureda, Juan Archuleta, and AJ McKee. They shockingly passed on recent free agents, Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Yoel Romero, the latter being the more shocking since Romero is still a top-tier contender and fought for the title in his last bout.

Bellator has slowly been rebuilding its Light Heavyweight division ever since Ryan Bader went on hiatus to claim the heavyweight crown in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix back in 2018. He defended the title once in 2017 and then moved up. 3 years went by with no defenses before he was finally dethroned by current champion Nemkov in 2020.

Johnson vs. Familiar Faces

Not so long ago, Bellator was able to sign Corey “Overtime” Anderson, who debuted victoriously in a TKO performance over legendary veteran Melvin Manhoef. Who’s ready for a dose of fantasy booking? Here we go? Corey Anderson vs. newly-debuting Rumble in a #1 Contenders bout, winner faces Nemkov for the strap. It already gives you goosebumps just from mentioning it *shudders*.

To indeed announce his comeback, Anthony Johnson needs to rumble up and finish his opponent. You could see him fight an ex-UFC veteran or a nobody, and it seems to be the only debut option, in my opinion, for Johnson. We will also see if Rumble has the cardio to be a champion. This new chapter will either tell if Father Time truly is master of all men, or prove that Rumble hasn’t missed a step.

Big Man Rumble has the opportunity to etch his name in Bellator’s ever-growing legacy. We also said the same thing about Ben Askren when he came to the UFC. Maybe, Father Time, is the one opponent Rumble can’t knock out? Or does he age with grace? All I can say is: There’s a Rumble in Bellator, and he’s coming early 2021.


Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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- Director of Motorsports
- Combat Sports Journalist that covers UFC, Bellator, and PFL.