It’s always good to see a Georgian find success in MMA, especially the biggest promotion in the world. UFC Star, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (21-5, 13-5 in the UFC) was born in Dublin, Georgia, about 2 hours southeast of Atlanta. He went to West Laurens High School, in Dexter. Demaryius Thomas (Broncos receiver) also went to the same school.
Although Johnson has been associated with the UFC for quite some time, it’s only been recently where he’s found success. Between 2007 and 2012, Rumble had a fairly tumultuous tenure with the UFC. Despite having gone 7-4 over five years, he had major issues making weight for many of his welterweight and middleweight bouts. His inability to make weight was so detrimental to his career, that it ultimately led to his release from the UFC.
After stints in promotions such as Titan and WSOF, Rumble eventually earned his way back to the UFC in 2014, but this time at light-heavyweight. The move to LHW was clearly the best decision he’s made in his long MMA career.
The 32 year old Georgian is certainly making the most of his second run in the UFC. Since his return (and move to LHW), Johnson is 6-1, with his only loss against Daniel Cormier in a title fight.
He’s consistently been in the title picture since his return in 2014. And when he faces Glover Teixeira in the co-main event this weekend at UFC 202, a win likely means he gets a second crack at Cormier’s belt. But what about Jon Jones? Is Rumble ready to take on Bones if and when he returns? Who would Rumble rather face DC or Jones? What does the Georgia-native think about the two fighters that have consumed the bulk of the media attention in the UFC light heavyweight division over the last several years?
Prior to the melee that was the “McGregor – Diaz Show” during the UFC pre-fight press conference yesterday, Anthony Johnson finally answered those questions. Normally, top-profile fighters like “Rumble” are used to getting the same questions asked over and over again. Well, it seems as if Johnson has reached his tipping point when it comes to discussing DC & Bones. After a flurry of questions during the Wednesday press conference, Rumble had one simple request for the media – stop talking about Cormier and Jones!
“Ya’ll quit talking about Daniel & Jon. I got to fight Glover. I’m tired of hearing their names,” Johnson said. Full video here.
Time will only tell if the media will respect his wishes.
As a fan of anybody that fights out of our great state, it’s encouraging to see how focused Johnson is on his career. He’s not focused on Jones, DC, McGregor, or even Diaz. He’s laser-focused on Teixeira and that’s means it should be a good night for Rumble and for Georgia MMA fans.