Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson will finally make the move up to the UFC’s middleweight division in 2012, and he’ll jump straight in with the lions as he takes on former No.1 contender Vitor Belfort.
Dana White today confirmed that verbal agreements are in place for Belfort Vs Johnson to take place at UFC 142 in Rio on January 12th. Earlier today a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo Vs Chad Mendes was confirmed as the headliner for the event.
Talk of ‘Rumble’ moving up to 185lbs has been discussed for quite some time due to the hard-hitting star’s well documented troubles making weight at 170lbs on a number of occasions during his tenure in the UFC.
To his credit Johnson has come in on weight in his last few bouts and having to sit out 2010 due to injury he has so far picked up wins over Dan Hardy and Charlie Brenneman in 2011 leaving him on a solid 5-1 run in the past three years.
Johnson is arguably the hardest hitter in the welterweight division, and when he steps up to middleweight he’ll meet another devastating striker in Belfort.
Since returning to the UFC in 2009 Belfort has twice shown that, TKO’ing Rich Franklin and KO’ing Yoshihiro Akiyama, both in under a round. Of course an astonishing front kick KO defeat against Anderson Silva earlier this year derailed his title dreams, but he still plans to make another assault to the summit of the division and a win over ‘Rumble’ certainly won’t hurt his chances.
Belfort had originally been scheduled to fight Cung Le at UFC 139 later this month but had to withdraw due to an injury.