It wasn’t too long ago that Anthony Johnson was one of the hottest stories in MMA, as his move up to light heavyweight generated new and much more dominant results for Rumble Johnson. But after losing to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in a second attempt at becoming UFC champion, Anthony Johnson made the decision to call it a career right in the Octagon immediately following the loss. Though it may have appeared to be a rash decision, perhaps brought about by the emotions following a second defeat to Daniel Cormier, to this day, Johnson does not regret his decision.
“Nah, never,” Johnson told MMA Weekly about if he misses competing. “I respect the sport obviously. If I miss anything, I miss being around my teammates. I miss being around those guys and being able to laugh and joke and see the progress and the growth of those fighters. Watching Kamaru Usman start from scratch and seeing him now, he’s the champion. I miss seeing those guys grow but it kind of brings joy to my heart that they’re successful and they’re doing even better than I did. I’m extremely happy for everyone.
“You know what for the longest, I didn’t know what I was going to do after fighting,” Johnson said. “I just figured I would be rich anyway and I would be champion. I thought I’d be making that Floyd Mayweather money and I got slapped back to reality.”
One thing that Anthony Johnson has expressed some degree of unrest about in the past is never having the opportunity to fight Jon Jones. That is the one “bucket list” item on Johnson’s MMA career that remains unchecked. But Johnson revealed that he is at peace with this fight never happening as well:
“I’m at peace with everything,” Johnson said. “Of course, I wish I could have the one fight with Jon [Jones] but that’s just that. That’s probably never going to happen so onto the next.”
Is the Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson the biggest “what if” fight that booked then cancelled in UFC history?