As content as Anthony Johnson appears to be with his retirement, there are apparently certain conditions that would make him amenable to a comeback.
Johnson retired in April of last year after his second shot at light heavyweight gold, falling to defending champion Daniel Cormier, the same man who beat him for a vacant title back in May, 2015. The 34-year-old has stuck to his guns since, but on Tuesday he addressed a rumor started by his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show that he would “100 percent” fight again, this time as a heavyweight.
In an Instagram story, “Rumble” wrote that he will come back at heavyweight, but only if former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones moves up to that division first and challenges Cormier for the heavyweight title.
Johnson added, “Jon was always my motivation once I went to 205. Heavyweight would be insane if the three of us were at it again!” Presumably, Johnson is favoring a first-time matchup with Jones, one of the UFC’s most decorated stars, rather than a trilogy bout with Cormier, though his post did not appear to rule that out.
In June 2007, Johnson actually made his debut at 170 pounds where he found some success, but difficulties with the weight cut forced him to move up and he has competed as high as heavyweight. During a second stint with the UFC, Johnson earned two light heavyweight title opportunities on the strength of knockout wins over Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Jimi Manuwa, Alexander Gustafsson, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
See Johnson’s full statement below:
Yes, it’s true that I’ll come back at heavyweight, but only if Jon fights DC for the title! It’s a personal goal of mine to fight the very best of the best before I truly stop fighting. Jon was always my motivation once I went to 205. Heavyweight would be insane if the three of us were at it again!