Three Potential Match-ups For The Return Of Anthony Johnson

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 08: Anthony Johnson announces his retirement after his defeat to Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 210 event at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Anthony Rumble Johnson has been teasing a return to the UFC for about a year now. About a week ago it was announced that Johnson finally reentered the USADA testing pool. That means he could possibly return as soon as January 2021. Today we will be taking a look at three potential fights for Johnson’s return.

Goliath Versus Goliath

Hands down the most intriguing matchup for Johnson in the light heavyweight division today would be Thiago Santos.  Both Anthony Johnson and Thiago Santos are known for their power striking as well as their finishing ability. Neither man would be looking for a takedown. Santos has 21 wins with 15 of them by knockout or TKO. While Johnson has 22 wins with 16 of them by knockout or TKO. This fight would likely give us what we were looking for when Francis Ngannou took on Derrick Lewis.

Winner Of Johnny Walker – Ryan Spann

The UFC would be in a win-win situation if they looked to book Johnson against the winner of Johnny Walker – Ryan Spann. If Walker were to win, Johnson would be paired up with an up and coming talented, flashy striker. If Spann wins, it would be a great opportunity for Johnson to show that he can deal with fighters trying to take him down.

Johnson notoriously struggled with the wrestling of Daniel Cormier twice in his career. Making it seem that wrestling was Johnson’s weakness. It would be great for him to be able to kick that stigma by taking on a rising star in Spann who has 11 of his 18 wins via submission. This option would be ideal for Johnson if the UFC is looking to ease him back into competition. A win over Walker or Spann wouldn’t make crazy noise in the top five of the division, but it would certainly make a statement for his first fight back.

Johnson – Jones

Jon Jones recently vacated his light heavyweight title and announced that he would be moving to heavyweight. While it would be far fetched, it is not out of the realm of possibility for Jones to return to 205 to fight Johnson. Rumble announced that he would like to come back as a light heavyweight but he weights just above 250. A fight at heavyweight shouldn’t be ruled out for him.  Jones spoke many times about how much he respects Rumble and wanted to take that fight for the fan’s entertainment. Even though it is about five years too late, this is still a fight that would be a fan favorite if both fighters would be interested.

Who do you think should be Johnson’s opponent for his return to the octagon? Let us know in the comments down below.

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