Dana White: Anthony Johnson Released (Updated)

January 15, 2012
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A tumultuous weight cut will likely spell the end of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson’s UFC career.

The former welterweight, who twice missed making the 171lb weight limit, bumped up to middleweight to hopefully cure some of those ills. On Friday, Johnson’s body crashed as he tried to cut the weight to make it down to 186lbs, and by weigh in time he had ballooned up to 197lbs.

UFC President Dana White was none too happy about the situation, and on Saturday night in Rio his opponent Vitor Belfort got 20-percent of Johnson’s fight purse, and submitted him to potentially end his UFC career.

Following the fights, UFC President Dana White spoke to Fuel TV about Johnson, and candidly said that this latest weight cutting snafu was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“We are probably going to cut Anthony Johnson,” White said.

Johnson, who seemed exhausted by the middle part of the first round against Belfort, spoke to Fuel TV as well, obviously prior to White making his comments, but he tried to keep things positive following what had to be a devastating turn of events throughout the weekend.

“No excuses, Vitor was just a better fighter,” Johnson said. “I’m not here to make excuses, a fight is a fight. If you’re going to win, you’re going to win, if you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose and he was just more prepared than I was.”

Johnson was hopeful to get a second shot at Belfort according to his statement after the fight, but he might have to fight to keep his job at all.

“I want a rematch,” Johnson said. “But there’s so many great guys at 185, I would just like to keep fighting here. I don’t care who it is, I just want to fight.”

White didn’t slam the door on Johnson’s UFC career on Saturday night, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he gets another shot after his latest weight cutting nightmare come to life.

UPDATE: According to a report from MMAJunkie.com who spoke to UFC President Dana White following UFC 142, Anthony Johnson has been released from the promotion.

“Three strikes and you’re gone,” White said.

Johnson missed weight on Friday prior to UFC 142 in Brazil. He previously had two other incidents missing weight when he was competing at 170lbs.

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  • I’d like to see him get another shot. The guy has tons of potential and there are a lot of exciting fights for him at 185 lbs in the UFC.

    He needs to pull a Thiago Alves and very publicly hire Mike Dolce to come on board and help him get things in order.

    • jmsbjj

      Dana white only supports steroid users not people who miss weight or tell bad jokes!!!SAD

      • Oh STFU

        • jmsbjj

          let me guess,a steroid user?

      • KBEsq

        Excluding the “bad joke” comment, I totally agree with you. I used to be a staunch supporter of White because I think the UFC needs authoritarian leadership to avoid it becoming like boxing.

        I’m just so tired of White’s rash reactions to certain people, and his complete lack of consistency with others. What’s really funny is if Johnson won, White wouldn’t have cut him. Therefore, this isn’t totally about the weight issue.

        White allows steroid injecting, felonious, dirt bags in the UFC, but Johnson, a good guy from humble beginnings, and a fan favorite, gets the axe for missing weight.

        • jmsbjj

          icouldnt agree more kbe!

      • johnvargas

        hey it helps if you win sometimes. vitor belfort is old and nowhere near a title,if you cant beat him,ufc is not for you.

        • bbtakayama

          You are dumb.

  • Mario

    I agree in that he shouldn’t, but most likely he will be getting cut.

    Anthony Johnson is a good fighter who just took on Vitor Belfort. Give him some props at least, despite the fiasco that his weight cutting issue.

  • Guess he’s gone. Just read an interview on another site and Dana said “3 strikes and you’re out”.

  • Mario

    DAMN! 🙁

  • Unfortunate.

    He needs to take a page out of Miguel Torres’ book and keep his mouth shut. Don’t be a fool like Paul Daley and run your mouth.

    Accept full responsibility for this mess, hire Mike Dolce to help you get things in order and go pick up a couple wins in another promotion.

  • MikeMc1983

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in a fight or two.
    Now it looks like Nate finally has someone outside of the UFC that would be a big test.
    Not sure if either guy wants to take a fight outside the UFC that’s so risky to lose, but Anthony Johnson vs. Nate the Great is the headline.

    • johnvargas

      hey if he can beat any of the diaz lowlifes ,that should get him back in ufc due to popularity..

  • Anthony

    This is simply a case of a guy that is fighting at a weight that is way too low for his body type. Did u guys see the pix from the weigh is? He looked more like a bodybuilder than an mma fighter. When your that lean at 194 cutting another 8 lbs is dangerous–this guy needs to either fight at 205 or lay off the weight training and protein and cut some muscle. The guys who commented on him going Alves route and hiring a nutitionist are spot on–good observation

  • I wonder what Rashad is thinking now after he said that the 185ers should “watch out” for Rumble. Ha, ha, ha… What a joke!!! Anthony Johnson does not belong in the UFC. Who has he beaten?? He did not want to stand with a smaller Dan Hardy and he got choked out by Koscheck. Then, he does not make weight or has trouble making weight. He’s just a joke and a lazy athlete looking for cash. I’m sure BAMMA or Bellator can take him. Bye bye, sucker!!!! There is no school like old school!! Go Belfort!!!! Brazilians and all Hispanic fighters all the way!!!!

    • rsnowbass

      While I agree with you, no need to be so harsh. Yes, Rashad should wait before Ruble actually gets his first win at that weight class or at least makes weight before making comments like those but Rashad desperately needs to keep himself in the spotlight, he can’t stand it when the attention is not on him somehow.

      For those above saying NO, he deserves a 2nd chance and has all this “potential” cry me a river. He’s a UFC veteran. He’s missed weight 3 times now. He’s had PLENTY of time to live up to his “potential” and has never been near a belt. He knows his body by now and was given a chance to move up in weight and missed it by 11 pounds! Why the hell does he deserve and 2nd chance when really…it would be his fourth chance? I think it’s a great move on Dana letting him go. Dana has to send a message to all other fighters on the payroll as well that this won’t be tolerated.

      If Rumble lives up to all his “potential” I keep reading about, he will go get himself a belt from a lower organization and earn himself back into the UFC. My .02

    • lowlb

      Spoken like a true racist.

      • johnvargas

        how did he say anything racist? if anything ufc has catered to many black fighters lately in order to get fans from the demographics that usually watch other sports= ppl like you who only see race. If they had more african americans in ufc,rumble johnson would have been cut long before ufc 142. they gave him a shot at a bigger weight class due to the fact that jon bones jones cant fight in every event.

        • fitefan

          WTF? Nobody said anything about ‘black’ fighters. The word racism isn’t exclusive to ‘blacks’ only.

          The comment from Josehernandez was ” Go Belfort!!!! Brazilians and all Hispanic fighters all the way!!!!”

          Cheering for Belfort is a ‘fan’ of one fighter.
          Cheering for Brazillians is a ‘patriot’ rooting for his countrymen.
          Cheering for all Hispanic fighters is a Hispanic cheering for his race.
          Or that’s how ‘lowlb’ took it anyway.
          Though, Hispanic is an odd word with many meanings.
          It may not truly be a racist remark, but it is prejudice. It would be like me cheering for all English speaking people of European descent. Regardless of what country I, or they lived in now. Just as long as they were of true european english speaking decent.

  • shaman

    Jose’ Hernandez, a thought on something you said:

    First, Belfort is not “Hispanic”, but what I want to say is more than this

    He is Brazilian, and speaks Portuguese- but not a Portuguese either. What people refer to when they say ‘Hispanic pride’ or even ‘Portuguese pride’ ,to me, is really ‘Indian pride’. Let us never forget this, ever again

    I am Lakota Sioux. My people where conquered by the English, but I’m not English. I speak english, but that is a conqueror’s language and not what I am. I very much encourage for you to begin looking at your brothers and sisters across the Americas in a way that is beyond merely who took from them and trained them like their dogs and horses

    As for AJ: Johnson had a learning experience and being cut will end up being good for him- if he takes it the right way. Even 205 isn’t out of the question for a guy still in his 20s and I hope an ugly incident like this never happens again in a high profile mma event

    • “I speak english, but that is a conqueror’s language…”
      I’m sorry, but you don’t have to speak it, and you don’t have to live where we speak the “conqueror’s language.”
      So, how am I supposed to look at my brothers and sisters? As conquerors?
      Sorry, but I’m white and I’m English. I’m proud of who I am and I’m very proud of my bloodline. NOBODY…absolutely NOBODY can discredit who I am and where I came from.
      Sorry if I missed your point, but do you have a problem with us English speaking people? I didn’t train anybody to be my “dog.” Neither did my parents.
      Again, I do apologize if I totally missed your point. I get the feeling after reading your post that I shouldn’t be proud of my heritage. I sincerely hope that wasn’t your intention.

      • what to politically correct to call yourself a conqueror

  • streetfightertoo

    Strikeforce welcomes new comer Anthony “tummy rumbling from the weight cut” Johnson!!!

    • johnvargas

      lmao maybe he should sue ufc, everyone knows you cant make weight on soul food!!! dana white is racist…lmao lol

  • fitefan

    Hard to give a guy a 4th chance. Still, I’d have liked to see him fight at 205. But Johnsaon seems scared to fight at his normal weight class. He still managed to outweigh Vitor by 5lbs at 211, technically a HW.

  • Come on now kiddies.. What’s race or ethnicity go to do with it? MMA is very cross-cultural and someone being of similar heritage to you is about as meaningless a reason support as whether they have the same vowels in their name as you. How about supporting people who are exceptional athletes or exceptional human beings?

    Human race FTW!

  • lowlb

    I believe in an effort to continue to grow and legitimize the sport, he needs to go. The fight should have been off. Why have weight classes if you can come in 11 lbs over and still fight? The UFC needs to treat MMA like a true sports competition. If they allow funny business then the sport/UFC will lose mainstream respect. These athletes are professional and need to act professional. He is a great athlete but he needs to act professional. Making weight to qualify for your weight class is a basic requirement.
    Oh yeah, josehernadez (above) you are a painful idiot.

    • johnvargas

      true hernandez is a moron but at least he didnt call someone racist for making a legit comment bout a black fighter. now thats stupid!

  • I think the cut was absolutely justified and furthermore I for one am sick of this guy(AJ). He’s a coward. He walks around at 230lbs and his way to win is to do insane weight cutting and fight guys who are two weight classes below him so he outweighs them by 40lbs on fight night? He’s bad for the sport. Let him fight guys his own size and win and then I’ll have respect for him. Don’t blame Dana, if I were Dana I would be sick of this guy too. How about Dan Henderson a lightheavy who fought Fedor as a Heavyweight. That’s a real fighter. He’s the same size as Johnson and he would destroy him.

  • MikeMc1983

    JohnVargas, When I was predicting a future fight between Nate the Great, and Anthony Johnson outside the UFC it had nothing to do with the “Diaz low life’s.”
    I’m really confused as to what you thought I was saying. I’m pretty sure every regular on here knew who I meant.

    I’m not for making childish insults, but if you thought I was talking about Nate Diaz, you are an idiot.
    Here’s a couple reasons why.
    Nate Diaz nickname is not “the great.”
    Diaz fights in the UFC, and doing well at that.
    Diaz is fighting at 155lbs, and Johnson isn’t making 185lbs

    Maybe I’m the idiot…
    I’ve guess I could have been clearer. I was talking about Nate Marquart

    I’m sorry to anyone else who thought I meant Anthony Johnson’s biggest fight outside the UFC was Mate The Great Diaz… Lol

    • RonnieV

      OMG! I can’t believe you made a nice post about my boy Nate(Diaz). Thanks MikeMc! lol

      Honestly, why don’t they just send Johnson to Strikeforce. He’s still one of the very best Middleweights. I would love to see him fight Rockhold, and earn his way back.

      I cannot believe this guy has fought at 170, I was at his fight against Hardy, and he dwarfed the Outlaw.

      • MikeMc1983

        I didn’t realize I said anything here nice about Nate Diaz.
        However, I have made quite a few post that were positive about Nate. I don’t group all those guys together. I have thought for a long while that Nate was pretty good. Actually I’ve taken heat because I believe he has a ton more promise than his brother. I was a little set back by his last fight where he really did a nick impression. (with the boxing) Nate is dangerous, I believe much more so than nick. But alas, I’m seem to be alone on that stance, but you guys will come around. 😉

        I just couldn’t believe that guy thought I was calling for a Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Johnson matchup.

  • MikeMc1983

    Nate* not Mate…lol. Damn auto correct!