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

Quick Return Only Helps Phil Hawes in Quest for WSOF Title

  • 29 days ago
  • 10 views

Phil Hawes just fought in June, but returns at WSOF 32 on Saturday night, which he believes only helps in his quest for a championship. read news >>

Hakeem Dawodu Has a Fire Under His Ass Heading into WSOF 32 Rematch

  • 27 days ago
  • 9 views

Following a majority draw in December, Hakeem Dawodu has a fire under his ass heading into his WSOF 32 rematch with Marat Magomedov. read news >>

Watch the WSOF Global 3 Live and Free, Saturday at 6 a.m. ET, on MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 16 views

Watch WSOF Global 3, live from Manilla on Saturday, July 30. Due to the time difference, the stream starts live at 6 a.m. ET / 3 a.m. PT on MMAWeekly.com. read news >>

WSOF Global Championship President of Ops Has Big Plans for Promotion’s Future

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

WSOF-GC Vice President of Operations Jason Lilly gave his thoughts on the company’s upcoming event, how the promotion has done so far, and what’s ahead. read news >>

Lawrence DiGiulio Taking Aim at Inaugural WSOF Global Flyweight Championship

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

Larry Diguilio knows he has a tough semifinal bout in front of him, but is taking aim at the inaugural WSOF Global flyweight championship anyway. read news >>

Tim Moore Wants WSOF Global Flyweight Title So He Can Make Fighting a Full-Time Job

  • 26 days ago
  • 8 views

Tim Moore knows that if he can get through the WSOF Global Flyweight Tournament and win the championship, it opens a lot of doors for his career aspirations. read news >>

Champ Marlon Moraes Excited to Show How Great WSOF and Its Fighters Are

  • 26 days ago
  • 8 views

Bantamweight champ Marlon Moraes is excited heading into his WSOF 32 rematch. "Let’s show everyone we are a big show and are great fighters.” read news >>

Ben Fodor Doesn’t Want to Fight His Brother, Caros, at WSOF 32, but He’s Mad

  • 25 days ago
  • 43 views

Ben Fodor is fighting his brother, Caros, at WSOF 32 on Saturday. He doesn't really want to, but he's mad. read news >>

For Caros Fodor, Fighting His Brother at WSOF 32 is a Chance to Settle Their Differences

  • 25 days ago
  • 19 views

Caros Fodor fights his brother at WSOF 32 on Saturday. He sees it as a chance for them to "get things back to normal after we beat the crap out of each other.” read news >>

Marlon Moraes Gets a Vicious Head Kick KO on Josh Hill at WSOF 32

  • 25 days ago
  • 32 views

Marlon Moraes (17-4) successfully defended his bantamweight title for the fourth time at World Series of Fighting in Everett, Washington on Saturday night. After a competitive first round, Moraes dro read news >>