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Morning Report: Anthony Johnson willing to come out of retirement to fight Jon Jones

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UFC 187 Weigh-in Photos

On Saturday night, Jon Jones dominated Anthony Smith over five rounds to retain his light heavyweight title t UFC 235. But there’s another Anthony MMA fans have wanted to see fight Jones for many years, and now it looks like the window is back open.

From 2014 to 2017, Anthony Johnson was among the most feared fighters in all of MMA. After moving up to the light heavyweight division from welterweight, Johnson left a trail of devastation in his wake, savagely knocking out nearly everyone he faced. After knocking out Alexander Gustafsson in two minutes, Johnson was expected to face Jon Jones at UFC 187. Unfortunately, that time turned out to be the start of Jones’ three-year saga of self-destruction so instead Johnson ended up facing Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title on two occasions, coming up short on both. The second time he lost to Cormier, Johnson retired from MMA to pursue a career in cannabis and CBD, and suddenly, the person MMA fans viewed as the most interesting possible fight for Jones, would never face him.

Or will he?

Speaking recently with the Into the Weeds podcast, Johnson backtracked his previous statements about staying retired, revealing that he would still come out of retirement to face Jon Jones, provided Jones moved up to heavyweight.

“The only way I’d come out of retirement is if Jon Jones goes to heavyweight, and then that’s when I’ll come out of retirement and fight Jon,” Johnson said. “I mean, that’s the only guy I want to fight, because after him, I can officially say I did my job, my mission is complete. Although I didn’t win a title, I fought the best of the best. I can go to sleep at night.”

Since his retirement in April of 2017, rumors have continually swirled around Johnson’s possible return to MMA. At UFC 214, when Jones and Cormier rematched, Johnson was brought in to do media surrounding the event and then in October of that year, his manager revealed that he and the UFC were having discussions about a possible return at heavyweight, since he had taken to bodybuilding in his off time. Nothing ever came of those talks but, with this new revelation and Jones fully back and admitting his move to heavyweight is “inevitable”, there is now new life for those still holding out hope for this lost superfight. There’s only one problem though: if it does happen, Johnson might be incredibly rusty as “Rumble” admitted he basically hasn’t trained since retiring.

“I haven’t trained since my last fight,” Johnson said. “I’ve been so focused on the cannabis and CBD, MMA just, I had to make everything else take a back seat, you know what I mean? I had to give it my undivided attention.”

On second thought, it might be better for Rumble to stay retired.


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Do you still want to see Jones vs. Rumble?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    (1495 votes)
  • 45%
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2720 votes total Vote Now


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Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all tomorrow.



Do you still want to see Jones vs. Rumble?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    (1495 votes)
  • 45%
    (1225 votes)
2720 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it! Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook!

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