Monday, January 16, 2012
Source: UFC cuts Anthony Johnson
By Franklin McNeil ESPN.com
UFC has released former welterweight Anthony Johnson, a source close to the situation informed ESPN.com on Monday.
Johnson's future with the promotion came into question Friday when he failed to make weight for his middleweight debut against Vitor Belfort at UFC 142. Johnson tipped the scale at 197 pounds for a 185-pound bout.
He was required to weigh in at 186 pounds for the nontitle middleweight contest, which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Johnson's future with UFC was determined Saturday night when he began showing signs of fatigue midway through the first round. An exhausted Johnson was eventually submitted by Belfort via rear-naked choke at 4:49 of the opening round.
"A loss is a loss," Johnson said. "My legs just got really tired. I didn't get beat up in there and he really didn't hurt me with what he hit me with. I just got tired.
"I've got to figure this thing out."
Despite his postfight explanation, Johnson's fate with the promotion was sealed. UFC president Dana White later expressed his views on Johnson's future inside the octagon.
"To be honest, we're probably going to cut him after this event," White told Fuel TV on Saturday night. "Three strikes and you're out.
"This is the third time that he hasn't made weight. He's the co-main event in a huge fight down here in Brazil. This one was a bad one."
Johnson has a professional record of 10-4. He was 7-4 in UFC competition.
"Rumble Johnson did the damage to himself," White said. "To be that unprofessional, and not come in on weight and be that far when you used to fight at 170.
"Now you went to 185 pounds so you wouldn't have trouble making weight and this is your worst weight cut ever? That's a detriment to himself."
Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.