Though it’s been 10 months since he last fought, World Series of Fighting light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has been using his time off productively and feels right now he’s the best fighter he’s ever been.
“I’ve just been training throughout the year and doing whatever I need to do,” Johnson told MMAWeekly.com.
“I feel like I’m where I need to be right now. I still have a lot of improving to do and my coaches and teammates are doing as much as they can to help me and things are just falling into place.”
Even though he fought just once last year, a unanimous decision victory over Andrei Arlovski in March, Johnson was able to raise his current winning streak to five and feels the year ultimately proved productive.
“I have no complaints at all,” he said. “2013 was an amazing year and I’m going to make sure that 2014 is an amazing year.”
Having been with the WSOF since the promotion debuted in late 2012, Johnson was asked if he feels any pressure being one of the fighters most associated with the company and its success.
“It’s an honor to be one of the faces of the company if that’s what you want to call it,” said Johnson. “But I’m just me. I don’t feel like I’m the face of anything. I don’t put myself up there that high and think like I’m the man and all of that.
“They’re just using my image and having fun with it and getting people to fill up the arenas and stuff wherever we fight. I don’t feel like I’m anything special.”
Even if he feels like he’s just one of the fighters, Johnson (15-4) will once again be called upon as a co-main eventer for the WSOF on Saturday, Jan. 18, in Hollywood, Fla., when he meets a fighter he was supposed to face last year in Mike Kyle (20-10-1, 2 NC).
“I’ve just got to beat him up to the get win; it’s plain and simple,” said Johnson of Kyle. “He’s a tough fighter from a well-respected camp, but so am I, so we’ll see how it all works out.
“I’m excited to get it over with. I’m always willing to fight, but this is one fight I’m just ready for it to be done.”
Word has it that with a win over Kyle, Johnson will put himself into a 205-pound title match later this year, but that’s not the only thing that drives him.
“Everything is a motivation for me,” he said. “Of course, everybody wants a belt, but I’m just enjoying myself and whatever comes at me each fight is what’s supposed to happen. I’m not putting the apple cart ahead of the horse.
“I’m not going to say I’m going to get that belt, and that’s the ultimate goal, but I’m going to take it one step at a time, one fight at a time.”