Over the past few years, Anthony Johnson has become the poster child for how weight cutting can go very wrong.
A massive fighter, Johnson was no different than most competitors trying to get a leg up on his opponents by cutting the most weight possible so the next day with hydration and food, he could be just that much bigger.
It mostly worked for a long time too because Johnson was a mainstay in the UFC’s welterweight division, but mistakes were absolutely made along the way and he missed weight on more than one occasion. Eventually, the weight cutting just got to be too much and Johnson’s body just shut down.
Now that he’s set to make his debut at 205lbs in Titan Fighting on Friday night, Johnson is in a much better place according to his manager Glenn Robinson from Authentic Sports Management. The better place is now allowing him to become a better fighter.
“Anthony’s a realistic person and when he realized that his body just couldn’t handle those large weight cuts anymore, he was very acceptable to what his future had to be,” Robinson told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“He wants to get back to where he was, and where his status should be if things didn’t go sour for him. He’s very willing to do what he needs to do to get back to the top. So willing that he’s not only fighting this week, but he’s fighting Jake Rosholt in one month in Oklahoma.”
The first hurdle was already jumped on Thursday as Johnson made weight for his light heavyweight debut, but he knows the questions are still going to come rapid fire for a while about the one-time UFC star who just couldn’t cut the pounds on weigh-in day.
Robinson knows just how driven Johnson is however, and he believes the one-time welterweight will become the fighter he’s always been destined to be, but now it will be at 205lbs.
“Nothing has really changed. His drive is probably as strong as it’s ever been. I can say this first hand because not only do I talk to the coaches every day and get a report card on him, but I also go and watch him train,” said Robinson.
If Johnson can put all of the pieces together mentally and physically, Robinson has no doubt that he’ll quickly vault up the rankings at 205lbs. It’s baby steps right now for Johnson, but Robinson expects great leaps for him in the very near future.
“He’s just a naturally gifted athlete, he’s got so much talent, I believe he’s got the ability to do some really great things in the 205lb division, and weight’s not really a factor in terms of how he fights, he’s just as talented at 205 as he was at any of the lower weights,” Robinson stated.
“I expect him to do some great things. I expect him to do some great things quickly.”
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