Maybe the UFC felt that he needed to rethink some things, maybe they felt he needed to learn as a fighter — or maybe it was that pesky thing we call “making weight”, something which Johnson repeatedly failed at doing while foolishly thinning to a large Middleweight frame.
He made the Light Heavyweight cut on April 25, the day before facing “Mr. Wonderful”, Phil Davis, at UFC 172 in Baltimore.
He out struck Phil Davis on fight night, too. That was partially due to the fact that Johnson is good at doing just that, but not really as perfected submission wise.
Davis didn’t really show much resistance, and it was over before it even started.
The question remains, after only one fight since signing his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is Anthony Johnson next in line for a title shot?
The answer is — no.
Jon Jones will soon be defending against Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch. We don’t know when or where but with both securing impressive wins since their first meeting (a ferocious September 2013 fight-of-the-year frontrunner), it is going to happen as planned.
Next in line is the winner of Daniel Cormier-Dan Henderson, which is formally set for UFC 173 on May 24.
Now, there is still plenty of time for Johnson to step up against the Cormier-Henderson winner, but would the winner actually want to risk a guaranteed Light Heavyweight title shot?
“Suga” Rashad Evans might be up for it.
Evans was supposed to face Cormier at UFC 170 to get in line for the title. Evans was injured, Cormier decided to move on, and now the #2 ranked UFC Light Heavyweight is being overlooked.
Anthony Johnson might have a dancing partner in the fall, when Evans is penciled in for his return to action.
If that fight is made, it will be a must-see MMA fight, Blackzilian vs. Blackzillian, the second time Evans squares up against a camp mate.