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

The Ultimate Fighter 23: Ep. 12 Preview

  • 23 days ago
  • 16 views

It all comes down to this, the final two semifinal fights to determine the finalists for this season of The Ultimate Fighter in the light heavyweight and women's strawweight divisions. Don't miss the read news >>

Lorenzo Fertitta on Rumored UFC Sale: ‘There’s Nothing to Report’

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

Company CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White continue to deny that the UFC has been sold. read news >>

Dana White on Jon Jones UFC 200 Removal: ‘This is devastating to Daniel Cormier’

  • 22 days ago
  • 292 views

While the UFC moved swiftly to elevate Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt to the UFC 200 main event, Dana White held out hope to get Daniel Cormier another fight. read news >>

Dana White Has 'Zero' Conor McGregor Regrets After Jon Jones' UFC 200 Removal

  • 21 days ago
  • 112 views

UFC president Dana White insisted he has no regrets about pulling Conor McGregor from the UFC 200 card, despite the headline bout for Saturday's Las Vegas event being removed after Jon Jones' potenti read news >>

Dana White Has ‘Zero’ Regret Pulling Conor McGregor from UFC 200

  • 21 days ago
  • 24 views

With Jon Jones having to be pull out with just three days left from UFC 200, one might think Dana White may have some regret in choosing to pull Conor McGregor. read news >>

Dana White: ‘Daniel Cormier Will Fight at UFC 200'

  • 21 days ago
  • 79 views

UFC president Dana White on Thursday declared Daniel Cormier will fight at UFC 200. Who will he face? read news >>

Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor React to Jon Jones’ UFC 200 Removal (Video)

  • 21 days ago
  • 755 views

UFC 202 headliners Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor react to Jon Jones being removed from UFC 200 during a press conference on Thursday. Diaz' reaction was, "Everybody's on steroids." read news >>

UFC 200 Embedded, Episode 5: Dana White Drops the Jon Jones Bomb on Daniel Cormier

  • 21 days ago
  • 26 views

On Episode 5 of UFC 200 Embedded, UFC president Dana White informs light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier that Jon Jones is out of the title fight. read news >>

VIDEO: Anderson Silva and Dana White Explain Making the Fight with Daniel Cormier

  • 20 days ago
  • 23 views

UFC president Dana White and Anderson Silva talk about how it came about that Silva is stepping in to fight Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. read news >>

Dana White Discusses Jon Jones in Interview with Colin Cowherd

  • 20 days ago
  • 76 views

Jon Jones was removed from UFC 200 after the United States Anti-Doping Agency informed him of a possible doping violation on Wednesday, and UFC President Dana White was not thrilled with the untimely read news >>