anthony-johnson-12.jpgWorld Series of Fighting 2 headliners and the promotion’s CEO say a fighter should determine his or her own destiny. If they want to fight at a weight different than what they’re known for, they should be able to do so.

In the case of Anthony Johnson (14-4), that means he should be able to fight heavyweight Andrei Arlovski (19-9), and the bout’s legitimacy shouldn’t be in question.

“Anthony is his own man and can fight at whatever weight he wants to fight at,” WSOF CEO Ray Sefo told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “If he wants to fight at 205, great. If he wants to fight at heavyweight, great. Who are we to say where he fights at?”

WSOF 2 takes place Saturday at Revel Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J. The event’s main-card airs live on NBC Sports Network following prelims on Sherdog.com. 

One influencer already has given his say: UFC President Dana White, who this past weekend said the WSOF 2 headliner wasn’t a legitimate bout because Johnson was a welterweight under his promotion’s banner. Johnson hasn’t fought at 170 pounds in more than a year, moving from middleweight to light-heavyweight, and for the Arlovski bout, to heavyweight. 

“What Dana said was his own opinion,” Johnson said. “It didn’t really bother me. But to me, this is a legitimate fight. I have no hard feelings toward Dana for whatever he said. I don’t even think it was meant in a harmful way toward me or Arlovski. It was just his opinion. 

“But I don’t know why he said welterweight, when I haven’t fought welterweight in over a year. I mean, get with the program, you know what I mean? I fight at 205. I’m fighting heavyweight for this fight. Stop living in the past, when I used to fight at 170. This is totally different. People change, and some people change for the better, and that’s what happened to me. So let’s not even talk about 170. Let’s talk about 205 and heavyweight.”

Arlovski, whom White praised at the same time he said the fight wouldn’t spur a UFC return, backed Johnson’s desire to fight at a heavier weight. 

“It doesn’t matter what weight he wants to fight; it matters what he’s going to bring to the table,” Arlovski said. “He trained hard for this fight. It might be an easy fight, or it might be the hardest fight in my MMA career. 

“It doesn’t really matter, and everybody has their own opinion. I’ll bring something to the table, and Anthony will bring something to the table, and we’ll see who was right and who was wrong. It’s only about the fight.”

Although Sefo disagreed with White’s assessment of Johnson’s choice, he differentiated it from fans who disparaged fighters’ performances. 

“What gets me the most is if you’ve never been in that cage and experienced what it’s like, if you’ve never experienced training camp, what these guys go through and the sacrifices they have to put in to be ready for the 23rd, if you’ve never known what that feels like, then you shouldn’t really be disrespecting any of these guys,” he said. “It makes me really upset. 

“I get it – if you want to criticize something, OK, fine, whatever. But it’s one thing to give an opinion – it’s another to disrespect. And it really burns a fire underneath me when people who have never been in that cage or ring disrespect the fighters. But at this point, it’s just a matter of educating them and saying, ‘Listen, maybe go to a gym and experience what it’s like for a couple weeks,’ and then you’ll understand what these guys go through.”

For more on WSOF 2, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Anthony Johnson)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dana White says Conor McGregor vs. Frankie Edgar 'made absolutely no sense'

  • 27 days ago
  • 123 views

UFC president Dana White explains why Chad Mendes was chosen over Frankie Edgar to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 189. When news broke of Jose Aldo's suspected rib fracture two weeks ago, MMA fans and f read news >>

Alistair Overeem calls out Junior dos Santos, tells UFC President Dana White to 'make it happen'

  • 27 days ago
  • 42 views

He even included that little fist emoji, so we know he's serious this time. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem, fresh off a "Big Country" beatdown in Dallas, read news >>

Dana White reveals that Jose Aldo would have ‘probably would've made close to $4 million’

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

UFC President Dana White reveals that Jose Aldo was set to make close to $4 million at UFC 189. Prior to Jose Aldo's withdrawal from the highly anticipated UFC 189 event, it was clear that the feathe read news >>

Morning Report: Dana White says Jose Aldo 'probably would have made close to four million' at UFC 189

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

As if featherweight champion Jose Aldo couldn't feel any lower, apparently his absence at UFC 189 has only added to the appeal. At least that's the line UFC president Dana White is going with. Accord read news >>

Conor McGregor Bet Dana White $3 Million He’d KO Chad Mendes at UFC 189

  • 28 days ago
  • 94 views

So confident is Conor McGregor that he bet his employers $3 million he'll knock out Chad Mendes at UFC 189. read news >>

Dana White: Jose Aldo 'probably would have made close to four million' at UFC 189

  • 28 days ago
  • 39 views

The UFC president was a guest on The Russillo Show on ESPN Radio on Tuesday (July 7, 2015) and he disclosed just how much money Jose Aldo was set to earn at UFC 189. Jose Aldo may have withdrawn from read news >>

Injury forces Tyrone Spong out of WSOF 22

  • 28 days ago
  • 20 views

Tyrone Spong's injury woes continue. According to World Series of Fighting executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz, a knee injury has forced Spong (2-0) to withdraw from his Aug. 1 fight against Mike read news >>

Dana White: Conor McGregor tried to bet me $3 million he would knockout Chad Mendes at UFC 189

  • 28 days ago
  • 25 views

And as early as the second round, no less. You certainly can't accuse Conor McGregor of being short on confidence. That became evident after the smooth-talking Irishman tried to bet Ultimate Fighting read news >>

Dana White: UFC 189 passed U.S. gate record following McGregor-Mendes announcement

  • 28 days ago
  • 40 views

The sense of disappointment when Jose Aldo had to drop out of his scheduled UFC 189 main event against Conor McGregor due to a broken rib was widespread. But the idea this would be a deathblow proved read news >>

UFC President Dana White Says Conor McGregor Tried to Bet $3 Million on Himself

  • 28 days ago
  • 34 views

Conor McGregor is confident ahead of his UFC 189 matchup against Chad Mendes on Saturday, July 11. Confident to the tune of $3 million, in fact. According to UFC President Dana White, McGregor made a read news >>