Anthony Johnson (13-3, 1 NC, MMA) has gone on a three fight streak in the process of reinventing himself after being cut from the UFC at the beginning of 2012. Now with a new promotion, a new weight class and a fresh start with his career, "Rumble" told MMA Fight Corner on Tuesday night that he feels like he's in better shape than ever.
Just recently, Johnson signed a multi-fight deal with the newest MMA promotion to hit Las Vegas, NV, the World Series of Fighting (WSOF). The organization's president is kickboxing legend, Ray Sefo. When the WSOF debuts on November 3rd at the Planet Hollywood's PH Live, Johnson said he's excited to face DJ Linderman (13-3, MMA) at light heavyweight on the card.
"It's an honor to be able to be on the first show ever for World Series of Fighting. I mean, I'm happy to be there, I have no complaints about these guys. As far as I know, most of the guys that are part of the organization that helped running it and got it started have been in a couple of fights themselves, even if it was in a ring or a cage. They know what we're going through and what we've been through as fighters, so they understand the business inside the cage and boxing ring, or whatever, and outside. So, I think this is going to be around for a long time."
Johnson will have his hands full with an opponent like Linderman who has never been finished in his MMA career. But Johnson isn't worried about that in the least. "I go into every fight feeling confident. So I feel like I'll be just fine in this fight too. I've improved myself, my standup, my wrestling, my ground. You'll see a better fighter than you've seen in my previous fights that's for sure."
In the UFC, Johnson fought at 170 pounds and struggled to make the cut. He also made two attempts in his career to fight at middleweight which was also difficult for him to make. But now, he's confident the 205 pound weight class is where his new home is. "I've never had so much fun and smiled so much in my life after cutting weight and while cutting weight. And I never fought the way I fought now, so I'm not going anywhere."
At UFC 142, he was to fight Vitor Belfort at middleweight for the first time, but missed the 186 pound limit and weighed-in at 197 lbs. After losing the fight, he was cut from the UFC. But that's behind him now, Johnson explained. "Everything went wrong, that's just how it is. Everything went wrong and that's the past and I'm not worried about the past, I'm just worried about what I'm doing now."
His next opponent DJ Linderman has fought at heavyweight and light heavyweight. Johnson can't wait to test the new and improved fighter he is against him.
"He's tough. I don't doubt him at all. His style matches up great for me. I think anybody's style actually matches up great for me, but that's just because I believe in myself. I'm sure he believes in himself too and he has a good camp that he's coming from. But November third, it's going to be a tough fight for both of us. But I'm confident and sure that I'm going to have my hand raised at the end of the fight. And you know, I'm plan on going there and do what I do and if I catch him slippin it's going to be night-night for him," Johnson stated.
Since his departure from the UFC, Johnson's strung together a 3-fight win streak. Johnson said that when it came down to deciding what was next for him, there were only two options for him, the UFC and WSOF. In the end, he explained he had to do what was right for him.
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