It is rare for me to call for a fighter to be cut from his contract, especially if they are in the UFC, but after this past weekend’s UFC 142 performance, Anthony Johnson doesn’t deserve to have a job anymore. Yes he gave up twenty percent of his purse to Vitor Belfort, his opponent, for not making weight but it is not just the failure to make weight that has Johnson on the brink, it is also the really bad effort he gave in the fight. UFC President Dana White was right about it ‘this was a bad one’.
To go over the case briefly, Johnson used to fight at 170 lbs, and that weight cut was a massive physical strain. He failed on two other occasions to make the 170 lb weight class, so this move to 185 lbs was looking like a no brainer. Instead, Johnson is looking like he has no brain.
Johnson has come out and blamed one of the doctor’s for issues in re-hydrating. Huh? Look buddy, your a wrestler, you should know how to drop the weight. On top of that, if you are not on weight you will normally get an hour or two to make the weight. How do you come in twelve pounds overweight, a difference too vast to really lose it in 2 hours or less. Did you even intend to make weight? Did you check yourself on a scale the morning of the weigh ins? Could you not stay away from the eggs and waffles at the hotel breakfast buffet? When your friends joked that ‘maple syrup has no calories on weigh in day’ did you load up?
I was watching the pre recorded interviews on the broadcast, and Johnson was talking about destroying Belfort, how he was going to smash him, blah blah blah. I was thinking that he had better do exactly that, only with a transcendental performance did he have a shot at saving his job. What weight class he would fight in, or whether the fight leaves him a contender could all be answered if he did something electrifying.
Well he didn’t do that either. he looked lost in the fight, he was clumsy, and on the rare occasion he got Belfort down and was able to control for a short period of time, he put his head down and threw weak punches. At the end, he gave up position, and Belfort submitted him with a choke, with only a few seconds left in round 1. At least Belfort spared us more agony.
This is an assumption, but Johnson strikes me as a good athlete who has gotten by on that without working too hard. If his attitude doesn’t change and he doesn’t get his mind back on track, this will be the last time anyone hears of Anthony Johnson.