The Anthony Johnson vs. Jon Jones fight has been in talks for over a year when Rumble was promised a title shot with a defeat of Alexander Gustafsson.
In Stockholm, Sweden, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson became the only man to finish the Swedish native with punches and was set to fight Jon Jones.
UFC 187 came about a few months later and it looked like the Johnson vs. Jones fight was going to happen. However, Jones was stripped of the UFC Light Heavyweight title and was suspended due to a hit and run incident.
Anthony Johnson then lost a fight for the interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Daniel Cormier. Since then “Rumble” Johnson displayed his incredible power by knocking out two top 10 light heavyweight opponents.
When it seemed like no one was brave enough to call him out, Glover Teixeira suggested they put on an entertaining fight and Johnson obliged. The two strikers meet at UFC 202 and while many MMA fans still want to see him fight Jon Jones, Johnson doubts the fight will take place.
In an interview with ESPN, Johnson explains why he feels that he will not fight Jon Jones.
“It’s just not gonna happen — at this point, I know it’s not gonna happen,” Johnson told ESPN.com. “It is what it is. I’m moving forward. Everybody is moving forward. I’m still shooting high and trying to do what I can in this sport. I’m not focused on Jon anymore. And I can tell you Daniel Cormier, Glover — they’re not focused on Jon, either. Nobody in this division is focused on Jon anymore. That’s a fact.”
Jon Jones has had a long list of controversial behavior. In 2012, Jones was busted for driving under the influence, and in 2015, he tested positive for a primary metabolite of cocaine and had a hit and run incident.
Recently, Jones has been popped for performance-enhancing drugs that could result in a two-year suspension. Jon Jones tested positive for estrogen blockers prior to UFC 200 and was consequently pulled from the card.
Anthony Johnson is considered the only top light heavyweight contender Jon Jones has not fought and beaten. Rumble, who is known for his knockout power, has been perceived as a threat to Jones’ unblemished record in the UFC.
While Anthony Johnson expressed being disappointed about the prospect of no longer fighting Jones, he doesn’t hold a grudge against the former Light heavy weight champion.
“I’m not mad at Jon. It doesn’t affect me, but I feel bad for the man, you know? I wish the best for everybody. I wish he would have made a smarter decision. If he did take those estrogen blockers or whatever, I wish he was smarter than that. But Jon is his own man. It is what it is. It’s on Jon, not me.”
Glover is a brawler like Anthony Johnson and finished his last two fights. Their highly anticipated fight is the co-main event at UFC 202 Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz.
Many MMA fans feel that Johnson will have the advantage in the stand-up striking department and will have a strength advantage. Glover has the advantage on the ground and has a better chance if the fight goes the distance.
Anthony Johnson tells ESPN that he doesn’t plan on fighting much longer and with Jon Jones out for two years, the fight is not likely with Johnson’s retirement plans.
“I ain’t trying to fight until I’m 35,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to make my money and go on to something different — do bigger and better things with my life. Hell, I don’t want to get punched in the head that damn much. I’ve got other things I want to do.”
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