It’s been a long time coming. The UFC confirmed today that disturbingly large welterweight contender Anthony Johnson will make the jump to 185 pounds and meet Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 (January 14th, somewhere in Brazil), in support of the Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes featherweight title match.
Johnson is riding a two-fight win streak, including a unanimous decision victory over Dan Hardy and a first-round TKO of Charlie Brenneman last month. Due to his habit of packing on mass outside of training camps — which resulted in him blowing weight by six pounds before his 2009 fight against Yoshiyuki Yoshida — speculation about Rumble’s size has hounded him for most of his UFC career. Competing at a more natural weight could be the best thing for his career. Just ask Alistair Overeem, if he ever gets a break between killing people.
As for Belfort, the former UFC light-heavyweight champ and middleweight title challenger is coming off a knockout win over Yoshihiro Akiyama. He was originally slated to face Cung Le at UFC 139, but then got injured as usual, and Wanderlei Silva stepped in. Due to the fight’s timing, it still seems possible that Belfort could be drafted as one of the first coaches for TUF Brazil. We’ll keep you posted.