FAR FROM HOME: ANTHONY JOHNSON IN SWEDEN
By: Sascha Matuszak, FIGHTLAND
"Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson is in Sweden, far from his hometown of Dublin, Georgia, freezing, cutting weight, and marveling at all of the skinny people around town. He’s there doing media work with Alexander Gustaffson ahead of their January 24 light heavyweight contender bout, and I had the chance to talk to him over the phone for a few minutes.
"Rumble is well known for being huge. He walks around somewhere around 220, while trying—and failing—to make weight in the welterweight division. Johnson came in very heavy twice, and then lost to Vitor Belfort via submission before getting cut by the UFC in 2012. What I wanted to know was not why he missed weight, but how in the hell did he make weight all of the other times he competed at that level?
“'Yeah man, you gotta pray if you’re gonna lose that much weight. That and a ton of treadmill work; be in the sauna. I’d barely eat. It was always hell, those last six pounds. It’s tough, but I wanted to be bigger, faster, stronger than everyone else in my division, and that’s what I felt I needed to do. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. This cut is a lot easier. Back then I was always on the treadmill or in the sauna. Now? Oh man, I’m smiling. Joking around.'”
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