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Anthony Johnson Credits Prior UFC Release For Newfound Success

Written by Tom Ngo
July 25th, 2014
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UFC Welterweight Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson (pictured) hit the lowest of lows – obviously, I’m not referring to his weight – after getting submitted by Vitor Belfort at UFC 142. “Rumble” was instantly fired for packing too many pounds, it was the third time in Johnson’s 11 trips to the UFC’s scale where he came in heavy.

Despite his abundance of God-given talent, most thought Johnson would never be heard from again. Another tragic case of the put-the-damn-fork-down-and-step-away-from-the-buffet-table ruining yet another fighter’s life…

However, Johnson resurrected his career by rolling off six straight wins in smaller promotions before getting called back up to the big leagues for April’s showdown with Phil Davis – a top 10 UFC light heavyweight.

It was a weight class many thought Johnson should have been competing at from the jump. The 30 year old has now transformed his body from a chiseled welterweight to a 205-pound tank.

Johnson gives all the credit to the UFC for handing him his walking papers two years ago.

“After being cut from the UFC, I really had to reevaluate everything and see what I needed to do to be better,” Johnson revealed during Thursday’s UFC on FOX 12 media workouts. “And I’m very glad that they cut me the first time, because if they hadn’t, I’d probably still be that knucklehead that was missing weight and didn’t care.

“After each fight after I got cut, I could tell the steps I was making to change my life around were working. So I just kept going and gradually it was coming together.”

If by “coming together” he means dominating Davis for an easy decision win, then yeah, things have certainly come full-circle for Johnson.

Johnson meets Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Saturday inside SAP Center in San Jose, California. He’s a heavy favorite that should effortlessly dispose of Nogueira, who has been out of action for 17 months nursing various injuries.

Oops, did I say HEAVY?

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