UFC veteran Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will be moving up to the middleweight division for his next MMA fight. Johnson will face former Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort next at UFC 142, expected to take place on Jan. 14, at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Johnson was definitely a huge welterweight, and he shouldn’t have any problems establishing himself in the UFC’s middleweight division. The middleweight division isn’t the most stacked division in the UFC, and it can definitely use an entertaining fighter like Johnson.
By taking on a well respected MMA veteran like Belfort, Johnson certainly isn’t shying away from the competition at 185 pounds.
“This is a challenge, and what’s life without challenges?” Johnson said about the fight with Belfort. “I hopped on this challenge and accepted it. Sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone or your element just to see how you do…I had no hesitation. I said, ‘Alright, let’s do this. Let’s have fun with this.'”
Belfort won’t be an easy fight for Johnson, but he’s skilled enough to beat the former champion. Submissions seem to be Johnson’s only weakness inside the Octagon, something Belfort isn’t exactly known for.
MMA fans can expect to see an entertaining display of striking power when these two MMA fighters meet inside the Octagon. Johnson might use his wrestling every now and then to score points during the MMA fight, but I’m sure the majority of the fight will be fought standing up.
UFC matchmakers got it right with this matchup and I for one can’t wait to see the fight. With a win over Belfort, Johnson will legitimize himself as a middleweight contender, and a few more wins might just earn him a date with Anderson Silva.