On the eve of his debut fight at 185 pounds against Vitor Belfort in the co-main event of UFC 142 Rio in Brazil, Johnson woke up on Friday morning feeling good and ready to go for his bout on Saturday.
Johnson has fought most of his career at 170 pounds, but had struggled in the past to make the welterweight division limit, so most believed a shift to 185 pounds would be the perfect move.
It all backfired for Johnson on Friday as he cut weight for the fight.
According to Johnson’s manager, Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management, who spoke to MMAWeekly.com on Friday, “Rumble” woke up on Friday morning weighing 191.5 pounds, only 5.5 pounds shy of the 186-pound weight limit for middleweight.
With three hours to go until weigh-ins, Johnson was only a pound and a half away from making weight when his body started feeling off.
Robinson says that Johnson started feeling sick and unstable, and so a local doctor came in to check him out to see what exactly was going on.
The doctor gave Johnson fluids to see if it would improve his condition, and within a couple of hours, the Blackzilian fighter started to come back to life. Unfortunately, at this point it was too late to cut the weight back down to 186 pounds.
“It was medical reasons, it wasn’t for lack of effort,” Robinson said. “The UFC was extremely supportive and said health comes first.”
Johnson was extremely apologetic to both the UFC and to opponent Vitor Belfort prior to the weigh-ins, but after getting sick just hours before and the doctors giving him fluids to rehydrate, there just wasn’t much else left to do.
Robinson did say, however, that there will be no risk of the fight not happening at UFC 142 on Saturday. He states that Johnson will make weight for the second weigh-in on Saturday at 205 pounds, and he expects fireworks when Johnson and Belfort finally meet.
“AJ will be at 205. It will be a great fight (Saturday) in Brazil and the fans will get to see a tremendous, tremendous battle between two amazing athletes,” Robinson said.
Johnson faces Belfort in the co-main event on the card that kicks off at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on pay-per-view.