Anthony Johnson will walk into uncharted territory on Saturday night, when “Rumble” makes his heavyweight debut against former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski in the main event of WSOF 2.

Despite competing heavier than he ever has before, Johnson believes that he will retain all of his explosive attributes when he steps into the World Series of Fighting’s decagon at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J.

“The speed and the power are still there,” Johnson recently said during a media conference call. “I’m still an athlete. I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything. Of course, Andrei is a little bit bigger than me, but that’s it.”

A former welterweight, Johnson said he should weigh in at around 235 pounds prior to the main draw contest, which airs live on the NBC Sports Network following the Sherdog.com-streamed preliminary card.

During his time with the UFC, Johnson famously struggled to hit the welterweight limit, missing weight twice before making an ill-fated move to 185 pounds for a showdown with Vitor Belfort last year. “Rumble” again missed weight, coming in at 197 pounds before submitting to a first-round rear-naked choke at the hands of “The Phenom.” Johnson’s UFC release came not long after, and the fighter quickly settled on light heavyweight as his new division, debuting in the WSOF last November with a scintillating first-round knockout of former Bellator talent D.J. Linderman.

Whether he is fighting at 205 pounds or heavyweight, Johnson said he is a much happier man now that cutting large amounts of weight is a thing of the past.

“Even at 205, I wasn’t really worried about a weight cut. With each fight, I just get more and more comfortable with myself and the system of fighting that we have [at the Blackzilians camp]. Not having to cut weight is always a good thing,” said Johnson. “It makes me happier, and I train harder. I’m more focused. When you’re fighting a guy like Andrei Arlovski, you have no choice but to stay focused and to do everything right.”

To prepare for Arlovski, Johnson said he has run the gamut of Blackzilian training partners, sparring with opponents of all shapes and sizes to further sharpen his skills.

“There is no specific person I train with. I train with Alistair [Overeem], Matt Mitrione, Rashad [Evans], Michael Johnson, Danillo [Villefort] and ‘JZ’ [Cavalcante],” said Johnson. “I train with the guys who fight at 125, [with partners who are] smaller than me, faster than me, who can keep me on my toes. I want to get a look from everybody, no matter [whom] I’m fighting.”

Though the Blackzilians have recently experienced a string of defeats, Johnson said his teammates have not allowed the publicized setbacks to affect the squad’s focus, a fact Johnson believes will aid him on fight night.

“The vibe is still great. We don’t worry about what the media [have] to say. We just train and let the cards fall where they may,” said Johnson. “What the media and everybody thinks is the last thing on our minds. We just train and keep doing what we’re told to do, and whatever happens, happens.”

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

Related News

WSOF champ David Branch: Target on my back 'brings out the monster in me'

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

David Branch sports an incredible 9-0 mark under the WSOF banner, and he’s not only won a pair of titles for the promotion, he’s also defended both belts. And yet he’s only get hungrier as he earns m read news >>

WSOF champ Marlon Moraes: The only person that doesn't want to see me fight Dominick Cruz is Dominick Cruz

  • 27 days ago
  • 19 views

WSOF bantamweight champ Marlon Moraes is currently riding a 12-fight winning streak and is ranked No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings. But that’s not good enough read news >>

Jake Shields not talking trash ahead of WSOF 34 but hopes to finish Jon Fitch early

  • 25 days ago
  • 8 views

Jake Shields isn’t one of the sport’s biggest trashtalkers by any means, but ahead of WSOF 34, the longtime veteran said there’s absolutely no way he can start in on WSOF welterweight champ Jon Fitch read news >>

Jon Fitch: Bjorn Rebney would be 'stealing millions of dollars' from athletes with lawsuit settlement

  • 25 days ago
  • 12 views

WSOF champ Jon Fitch has long been an advocate for reforming MMA and the way its athletes are treated. But when it comes to the most recent public push in the fighters’ associations front, the recent read news >>

Jake Shields More Than Ready for Long-Awaited WSOF Title Shot | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 11 views

It's been a long time coming, but Jake Shields is more ready than ever for his shot at WSOF welterweight champion Jon Fitch on New Year's Eve. read news >>

Louis Taylor Gunning for the First of Multiple Titles at WSOF NYE | MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 days ago
  • 12 views

Louis Taylor has lofty goals, the first of which is defeating David Branch for the middleweight title at WSOF on New Year's Eve. read news >>

WSOF Champ Justin Gaethje Focused on the Fight and Only on the Fight | MMAWeekly.com

  • 18 days ago
  • 5 views

When it comes to MMA, there are few things in life that World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje takes more seriously. read news >>

WSOF: For Champ David Branch, Good Things Come in Twos

  • 18 days ago
  • 7 views

David Branch can't pick just one fighter or style that describes him. Instead, he goes for a median point between two notable poles. "Andre Ward is more of a well-rounded boxer," he said. "Bernard Ho read news >>

5 reasons to watch WSOF 34, a New Year's Eve championship quadruple-header

  • 17 days ago
  • 3 views

WSOF is taking a risk in presenting WSOF 34 on New Year’s Eve in New York City. However, the promotion is looking to mitigate that risk by holding the event in the afternoon and stacking the card wit read news >>

WSOF 34 Weigh-in Results: All Four Title Fights Officially Set | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 3 views

All four championship fights on the World Series of Fighting’s historic New Year’s Eve card are official after all the participants made weight Friday. read news >>