It’s been on the cards for some time, and finally it appears that welterweight fighter Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is going to make the move up to middleweight.
Johnson currently struggles with cutting to 170lbs are well documented, with the fighter having come in far over the limit on two separate occasions during his time in the UFC.
Up until this point the 26 year-old had remained adamant that he would remain at welterweight, but after another injury blow earlier in the year caused him to put on a considerable amount of weight it appears he may now be ready to rethink his plans.
“He has to maintain a very diligent cardio routine to stay in striking range of 170 (lbs),” his manager Ken Pavia reveals to MMAJunkie. “Because of his knee injury, his weight has gotten up a little bit, and we don’t want to delay his comeback because of a weight issue. So we’re entertaining the possibility of taking a fight at 185 (pounds).”
Pavia also mentioned that even UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva has been pushing for Johnson to fight at a higher weight class after seeing the difficulties ‘Rumble’ has had cutting to 170lbs.
“Joe Silva has a couple rules that he lives by, one of which is he’ll never tell a fighter what weight to fight at, and he’ll never make a fighter fight injured. And he’ll tell you that over and over again.
“That being said, the last time he saw [Johnson], he turned to me and said, ‘C’mon, dude.’ So that’s one of the reasons we’re entertaining an [185 pound] fight. It’s not for sure yet.”
The indications are that Johnson isn’t exactly keen on the idea however, and if the move to middleweight does take place, it may only be temporary.
Personally I think he should be forced to fight at 185lbs permanently. Weight problems have become a constant issue for him and it’s doing his general health and well-being no good in the longer term to continue doing so. He’s rumored to have weighed as much as 220lbs after a previous injury so even at middleweight he’ll still going to end up being one of the bigger guys in the division.