You know that uneasy feeling you get every year when you step on the scale to see how much weight you’ve gained after the winter holidays? Well, that must be what Anthony Johnson (pictured) is experiencing today – but to the umpteenth degree.
It’s no secret that Johnson and the scale aren’t BFFs (No, that doesn’t stand for Buffet Fiend Forever). Despite their tumultuous relationship, Johnson was brought back to the UFC, but with a big stipulation – if you’re over, you’re out.
“If he doesn’t make weight, I promise you, he’ll never be back in the UFC,” Dana White deadpanned Thursday. “I hope [he’s changed]. I hope he makes weight.”
In Johnson’s previous 11 trips to the UFC’s scales, he missed the mark three times. “Rumble” weighed 177.5 pounds in his September 2007 contest against Rich Clementi and was 176 pounds for his October 2009 scrap with Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Both welterweight bouts were fought at catchweights based off Johnson’s respective weight.
What most thought was the final straw was when Johnson tipped the scale at an astonishing 197 pounds for his middleweight tango with Vitor Belfort at UFC 142. For a non-title middleweight affair, fighters are allowed to weigh a maximum of 186 pounds, which is exactly what Belfort checked in at.
Johnson was fired immediately after the submission loss in January 2012.
Johnson proceeded to go on a torrid 6-0 run in several smaller organizations, with all of the bouts taking place at a weight no lighter than 195 pounds, and that’s how he earned his way back to the big leagues.
“He’s wanted to get back in the UFC. He’s an exciting fighter. He’s one of those kill or be killed-type guys,” White added. “I’ve always liked him as a person and as a fighter, so he’s getting another shot. This is a big shot for him. Saturday night is a big deal for him.
“I’ll tell you what, when you fight at 205 [pounds] in other organizations, it’s a lot different than fighting at 205 here. Usually when guys fight at 205, they want to fight at 185 when they come to the UFC.”
Johnson revealed he weighed 211 pounds Thursday morning, just five pounds over what he has to clock by 4PM ET today. White quasi-joked, “I wish he was 205 now.”
Johnson battles Phil Davis Saturday at UFC 172. However, Johnson’s biggest battle might be going down today.