Bellator Signs Former KOTC Champion Johnson


Former King of the Cage heavyweight champion Tony Johnson Jr. has signed with Bellator Fighting Championships and will debut with the promotion on April 16 at Bellator 41.

Bellator released the news Thursday, announcing that Johnson would square off with undefeated heavyweight Carlos Flores at the Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz. The event will air on MTV2.

In addition to the Johnson-Flores bout, Bellator 41 will feature both featherweight tournament semifinals, as well as two super fights featuring champions Joe Warren and Zach Makovsky in non-title affairs.

“Tony is a fighter we have had our eye on for quite some time,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a release. “He’s one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world right now and will make a great addition to our already impressive heavyweight lineup.”

A collegiate wrestler at Iowa State University, Johnson began his professional career in 2008. “Ghost Wolf” has only tasted defeat once thus far, losing the KOTC heavyweight strap in his first title defense to Strikeforce prospect Daniel Cormier in August.

“I definitely want to be a part of the next Bellator heavyweight tournament. I think it would be a great opportunity for me. It would mean everything to me to become the next Bellator heavyweight champion,” said Johnson. “I plan on getting better and better every time I enter that cage. I feel in my heart like I’m able to compete with the best heavyweights out there, and now it’s time for me to prove it. I’m ready for it. I’m ready to take that next challenge.”

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