|Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (left), shown taking on Rich Clementi at UFC 76, failed to make weight for Saturday's UFC 142 bout against Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort. (Courtesy UFC)
Embarrassing, unprofessional and, quite honestly, unexpected.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson made a big deal about being bigger and stronger now that he was leaving the 170-lb. class to fight at 185 lbs.
He talked about how much easier it was to keep a smile on his face during fight week knowing he didn’t have to cut as much weight.
He joked about sneaking in a gummy bear or two.
It now looks like Johnson may have sneaked in a few too many gummy bears prior to his co-main event battle against Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort at UFC 142.
When the fighters hit the scales Friday, Johnson weighed 197 lbs.
UFC rules state that fighters are allowed to come in one pound over the allowable weight limit and those who are close are given an extra hour to make weight.
With no chance of him shedding a full 11 lbs. in the allotted time, Johnson will forfeit 20% of his purse to Belfort and can’t weigh any more than 205 lbs. on fight day.
Belfort came in at the allowable limit of 186 lbs.
Earlier in the week, Johnson had spoken quite boldly about his plans in the 185-lb. class.
He said having the extra weight on his frame was a welcome change.
“At 170, I guess you can say I looked like ‘Skeletor.’ At middleweight, I guess you should call me ‘Big Foot,’ ” said the 27-year-old. “The move to middleweight has been great so far. I’m still eating healthy and getting my body ready. I mean, I still eat my gummy bears from time to time.”
The 6-foot-2 former welterweight has an impressive 10-3 record with 70% of his wins coming by (T)KO.
The Georgia-born fighter now trains one state down in Florida with a stellar cast of training partners.
“I train with (former light-heavyweight champ) Rashad Evans every single day,” says Johnson.
“He’s the guy I train with the most. It’s helped me a lot. Then, I’m working with guys like (kickboxing champion) Tyrone Spong and (former UFC contender) Jorge Santiago. It’s been the best thing for my career. The training down there has really helped me become a better fighter.”
He says he is fully aware of Belfort’s arsenal.
“It’s always interesting fighting a jiu-jitsu black belt, but we don’t fight in gis in UFC anymore,” says Johnson. “You can’t judge a black belt in the cage until the punches start flying.”
Johnson has now sullied his chances at being taken seriously as a middleweight. Earlier, he said he planned to begin a rise up the ranks with his fight against Belfort.
“Vitor has done a lot in this sport, but I’m not thinking about that,” he said. “I’m thinking about beating this guy up.”