Anthony Johnson at Heavyweight Likely One and Done, Plans to Drop After Fighting Andrei Arlvoski

March 22, 2013
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Anthony-Johnson-UFN24-108-478x270Anthony “Rumble” Johnson makes his heavyweight debut in the main event of World Series of Fighting 2 against former UFC heavyweight titleholder Andrei Arlovski, and aside from the possibility of a rematch with Arlovski, it will likely be a one-time deal for Johnson competing in the heavyweight division.

Johnson, who has competed as low as welterweight (170 pounds), feels light heavyweight is the division best suited for him.

“Unless my man Ray Sefo and Ali (Abdel-Aziz) asks me to take another fight at heavyweight, this is probably my one and only fight at heavyweight right now.  205 is still where I want to be.  It is still my home, so we’ll see,” said Johnson during a media conference call on Wednesday.

“For me and Andrei Arlovski, win, lose or draw, they might want to see a rematch and I might have to fight heavyweight again, so we’ll just see what happens,” he said.

Johnson has struggled to make weight in lower weight classes in the past and thinks not having to cut weight for this fight is a good thing.

“Each fight I get more and more comfortable with myself and the system of fighting that we have.  Of course, not being able to cut weight is always a good thing, so it makes me happier.  I train harder, and I’m more focused, so fighting heavyweight is sort of good, but when you’re fighting a guy like Andrei Arlovski, you have no choice but to be focused and make sure you do everything right,” said the Georgia native.

Putting on some extra weight hasn’t affected Johnson’s abilities or physical attributes.

“I’m like 235 right now.  I don’t plan on getting heavier than that,” he said.  “Everything is still there, the speed, the power.  It is still there.  I’m still an athlete.  I don’t’ feel like I’m sacrificing anything except height.  I believe Andrei is bigger than me, just a little bit heavier than me, but overall that’s it.”

Arlovski, known for his striking prowess, presents more than just a threat with his hands.  Johnson isn’t concerned with anything Arlovski brings to the table, but he’s aware that he has to be on the lookout for everything.

“I’m never concerned with anything when it comes down to fighting,” said Johnson.  “This is MMA.  I have to be on the lookout for everything.  There’s not one thing I have to look out for; I have to lookout for everything.  I can’t just say, I have to watch his hands.  No.  This is mixed martial arts.  I have to watch out for every single thing this man does.”

For a fighter, the biggest fight of your career is always the one that’s in front of you.  Johnson is on a four-fight win streak and a win over Arlovski would certainly be a nice feather in his cap, but Johnson isn’t feeling any pressure heading into the match-up.

“I don’t feel pressure at all,” he said.  “I don’t’ even get nervous before a fight or anything like that.  I’m just calm and relaxed.  It’s a fight.  This is what we do and what we’re trained for so no point worrying about pressure or what anybody has to say.  I just go out there and do my best.”

World Series of Fighting 2 takes place on Saturday at Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City.  The preliminary bouts will be streaming live on  The main card will air live on NBC Sports Network in the U.S., but stream live on across the rest of the globe.

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  • AJ at LHW is scary. I would have loved to see him fight Forrest Griffin. Hopefully not he can unleash his full potential and have a healthier career.

    • Cereal Killer

      Wow, did he look bloated at HW! LHW is definitely the place for him.

      • Right I can’t believe this guy ever fought at 170 lbs. Must be nice not cutting any weight. But our right LHW is the place for him to be. I’m a longtime fan of Arlovski but I have A.J by KO or TKO. What do you think?

        • Jew Jitsu

          i dont know why so many are picking johnson by ko, i dont think people are giving arlovski enough credit. johnson isnt gonna know what to do when he stands with arlovski because of how technical he is accompanied by the reach he will have on em and the experience. not saying johnson doesnt have experience but all of those things together and i dont think johnson lands a big shot.

          • Cereal Killer

            Rumble is going to KO the Glass Chin Pitbull in the first 60 seconds.

          • Everyone is counting him out based on going 6-4 and 1 NC since leaving the UFC. He is well rounded and a veteran but a guy like AJ who is athletic with KO power is a bad match up. And I believe AJ has the reach by 1 inch, I could be mistaken though.

  • Jew Jitsu

    arlovski by 2nd round tko

  • Jojo

    I guess we don’t have to worry about Johnson not making weight.. lol. I’m worried about Arlovski’s chin. It’s made of glass. BTW, thanks MMA Weekly for another non-proofread article. Can’t even spell Arlovski correct in the title!

    • Jew Jitsu

      arlovski’s striking is so sick i dont think he will have a problem keeping johnson on the outside of his jab. his chin is weak but he has a good enough chin to eat a shot or 2 if it came down to that in the fight, johnson would need to hit em with something really hard that he doesnt see coming thats the only way i see johnson ko’ing arlovski. like i said i think arlovski is gonna keep em at distance so i dont think he will land a big enough shot to ko em.

  • Santz

    I’m just waiting for the update. “Anthony Johnson misses weight by 10 lbs…lol! Even at heavyweight!

  • Cereal Killer

    He said he was about 235, but weighed in at 230. Kinda like Carwin gaining a few inches before fights!