Once upon a time, Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson was poised to be the next big thing in the UFC's welterweight division, a massive and powerful wrestler with the skills to one day dethrone Georges St. Pierre. That time seems long gone, as Rumble repeatedly struggled to make the cut to 170 pounds, before ultimately being cut by the UFC.
After signing with Titan FC, Johnson would once more miss the 185 pound weight limit in his promotional debut, a victory over UFC vet Dave Branch. Finally he moved to 205, reeling off three straight victories before taking a heavyweight bout against Andrei Arlovski that had more to do with World Series of Fighting's lack of headlining talent than Rumble's ability to make 205. He would defeat the former UFC heavyweight champ, breaking Arlovski's jaw in the process.
Rumble has finally found a division that suits him, proving he can consistently make the light heavyweight limit while still being a dynamic talent. With those two caveats out of the way, it is time for Rumble to return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and add some fresh blood to a division that desperately needs it.
There are countless potentially great fights for Rumble in the UFC. Johnson has the wrestling chops to defend takedowns or return to his feet against wrestlers, and the talent and willingness to brawl with dangerous strikers. That means he matches up reasonably well with any of the following: Dan Henderson, Shogun Rua, Phil Davis, Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader. I could go on.
With one more fight on his WSOF deal, Rumble was promised a crack at the promotion's light heavyweight title should he choose to re-sign. But what does that really mean for Johnson? He's been the best 205er on the roster since the day he showed up and everyone knows it. Time for Rumble to return to the Octagon and try his hand at the world's best light heavyweights.