In October of 2021, Anthony Johnson (23-6, 1-0 Bellator) was scheduled to face Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 7-0-1 NC Bellator).
The two were set to face one another for the Bellator MMA light heavyweight title. Johnson had earned the opportunity after finishing Jose Azevedo (7-4, 1-2 Bellator) in an exciting promotional debut.
Unfortunately, ‘Rumble’ had to pull out of the scrap citing illness. The long time MMA veteran took to his social media to announce that he would be out for the remainder of 2021. Johnson’s statement was as real as it gets, and had many in the MMA community fearing we’d seen the last of Anthony.
The one time UFC staple goes on to say, “Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I truly am. Just know I need as many prayers as I can get and I’ll see you in 2022 God willing…” Johnson also added, “Never been afraid of anything in my life, but I’ve remained strong with the support of friends and family.” While the details on his illness have been minimal, Anthony made sure to confirm it was not a COVID related ilness.
Getting Ready to Rumble?
Anthony Johnson recently made an Instagram post, with a picture of him back at Sanford MMA. ‘Rumble’ had been relatively quiet on social media as of late, but his latest IG snap gives light to a once dark story.
The sixteen year veteran of MMA captioned the post with the following. “1st day back.” Then proceeds to say, “If you knew the path I’m on, you’d understand this is a big step. When I’m back, you’ll see a different, more dangerous version of what you’ve already seen.”
The once welterweight, turned light heavyweight still has a long road ahead of him, but is hopeful to get the green light before the end of 2022. ‘Rumble’ confirmed in his most recent post that he has “nothing to announce yet” as far as a fight. Even with no date, or opponent announced, many fans are already licking their chops at potential fights to be made.
Many questions are left unanswered at this time. Will the seemingly slimmed down ‘Rumble’ make his return in the light heavyweight division? He’s currently ranked fourth in the division, and still finds himself knocking on the door of a title shot. Anyone currently in the top five would be an excellent test for Johnson’s return. A return that gives the MMA community a fighting chance to possibly see the once booked matchup against Yoel Romero.
The ‘Soldier of God’ has been climbing the rankings, after his massive knockout over Alex Polizzi at Bellator 280. Romero immediately got booked after the fight, and will face Melvin Manhoef in September at Bellator Dublin. Should Yoel get past the always dangerous Manhoef, we could have a perfectly aligned timeframe for Johnson vs. Romero to finally go down.
Are you excited to see Anthony Johnson on the road to a comeback?
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images