Today, the UFC officially confirmed what had already been heavily speculated. Up and coming welterweight Anthony Johnson will get his opportunity for redemption at the “Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale” on December 13th. Johnson is a rising star, and one of the most athletic fighters in all of MMA. Had he won his bout against Kevin Burns in July, he would have thrown his name into the mix for a shot at reigning champion Georges St-Pierre.
Johnson was dominating their first bout when Burns accidentally landed a thumb to Johnson’s eye in the 3rdRound. Johnson immediately fell to the canvas. On replay, the poke was clear and referee Steve Mazzagatti has received quite a bit of grief regarding the missed call, however Johnson was one of the few that didn’t blame Mazzagatti.
“Everybody was hating on Mazzagatti because of the call, but he was on the side I was blocking on, so he actually didn’t see the guy eye gouge me,” Johnson said about the maligned referee. “All he saw was the uppercut … he called what he thought he saw and I respect him.”
Johnson is regarded as one of the division’s most exciting young fighters, and the controversial loss certainly hasn’t hurt his standing within the UFC. Thankfully, Johnson will now have a shot to redeem himself and put his career back on track.
In addition to this bout, the UFC also confirmed that Jason MacDonald will be taking on Wilson Gouveia.