The man better known as ‘Rumble’ was always seen as having huge potential to succeed in MMA, but some sections of the MMA community were sceptical of his huge weight cuts (often over 50 pounds) to Welterweight.
Those scepticisms were put in the spotlight in 2012 when it was revealed Rumble was unable to make the Middleweight limit in a fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC 142. The fight – in which Johnson weighed in at 197 pounds – still went ahead, which resulted in a loss and UFC release for Rumble.
It could have been a case of potential wasted, but after a few fights outside of the UFC, Johnson found a home in the Light Heavyweight division. After six straight wins after his UFC marching orders were given, Rumble’s weight-missing sins were forgiven by the UFC brass and he was signed to the organisation’s 205 pound division.
The move has been a great one for Rumble; he dominated top-10 fighter Phil Davis in his UFC return and recently finished Antonio Rogerio Noguiera in just 44 seconds. With Daniel Cormier set to face Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight title and Alexander Gustafsson in the mix for another title shot, it is unlikely Johnson will fight for the strap this year.
However, if his dominant winning ways continue, it will be no surprise if he makes a challenge for the belt sometime in 2015.