After yesterday’s announcement that Anthony Johnson would be moving up to middleweight to fight Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 in Rio early next year you may be wondering what prompted the long-time welterweight fighter to finally take the step up.
Today ‘Rumble’ answered the question himself via a post on his Twitter account.
“Ppl question why the move to 185? 1st its a challenge, 2nd because I want to, 3rd why not? What is life without challenges and trying something new? Life would be boring then!!!”
He did however finish by hinting that he doesn’t see himself sticking at 185lbs permanently, stating, “170 is Still my home.”
If Johnson did manage to beat Belfort that would immediately put him in a very strong position in the middleweight division so, while he may still feel he has unfinished business at 170lbs, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that this could end up being a long-term move.
I like the move, it’s refreshing to see someone moving up or down in weight because they want to rather than because they need a fresh start after a series of losses. On the contrary, Johnson was actually climbing up the welterweight ladder and that gives him a safety net to fall back to if things don’t work out.
Given that Johnson has also been known to balloon up to as much as 220lbs+ between fights it also seems like a stint at middleweight would be better for him from a health perspective too.