Anthony Johnson was exiled from the Octagon following his failure to make weight for his planned middleweight showdown with Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 Rio recently.
The fight went on, but not as planned. Instead of meeting at 185 pounds, the two fought in the light heavyweight class due to Johnson weighing in a full 11 pounds above the limit for middleweight.
For those of you wondering if he might resurface in the UFC’s sister organization, Strikeforce, don’t hold your breath. UFC president Dana White, who also directs Strikeforce, says Johnson has a few things to prove before even that happens.
“He needs to go fight somewhere else, get some wins, come in on weight. He needs to prove to me that he can be a professional, show up on weight and do the things that he needs to do,” said White in Chicago on Thursday. “He gets a few fights under his belt and does that, we’ll talk.”
There are few options as attractive as the UFC or Strikeforce in the market, but there are some places that would likely give Johnson an opportunity. Promotions like Dream, MFC, Bellator, or M-1 Global, might offer Johnson the platform he needs to rebuild his reputation after repeated failures to make weight for Zuffa.
Until then, and only then, will White give Johnson another opportunity in the Octagon.