Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com is reporting that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is set to make his return to the UFC, as he has agreed to meet Dan Hardy at one of the UFC’s March events. According to the report, the welterweight bout would probably serve as the co-headliner of the UFC Fight Night 24 event in Seattle. Johnson has not fought since a second round submission loss to Josh Koscheck in November of 2009. He was scheduled to return March of this year, but a knee injury forced him to withdraw and he’s been out of action all of 2010. Hardy himself has had a string of bad luck, coming off of back to back losses to Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit. This will be an awesome fight, with someone undoubtedly being knocked out cold. Neither fighter loves to go to the ground, and as aggressive as both men are, I can see no other outcome. Of course, this all hinges on Johnson making weight. He’s struggled with that before, and last I saw him he was completely out of shape. About 215lbs out of shape. Not good.
MMA seems to be getting its’ due, as Sport’s Illustrated’s list of the 50 best games/events of 2010 features two MMA fights. Coming in at #11 was Cain Velasquez’s destruction of Brock Lesnar at UFC 121, where he captured the UFC’s Heavyweight Championship to become the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion in any combat sport. The three round brawl between Leonard Garcia and Chan Sung Jung from the WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber PPV event made the list as well, coming in at #35. Both fights were eye openers, so I can see why they were included. Velasquez defeated the seemingly unbeatable, and that Garcia/Jung fight was just nuts. No technical anything in that fight. Good times.
JZ Cavalcante told Tatame.com that he wants a rematch with Josh Thompson. “The next guy I’d like to confront would be Josh Thomson just to make things clear.” I thought he won the first match up. It was a very close fight and I’d like to see number 2.
Mirko Filipovic posted a video on his official website stating he’ll have his best year yet in 2011. “I invested a lot in training and therapy and I think 2011 will be my year, better than 2006.” That’s saying something, seeing how he fought and defeated Ikuhisa Minowa, Hidehiko Yoshida, Wanderlei Silva and Josh Barnett in succession to capture the Grand Prix title that year.
MMAJunkie.com is reporting that a welterweight bout between Mike Pyle (20-7-1) and Ricardo Almeida (13-4) will be part of March’s UFC 128 event. Not a bad fight at all. Both guys are ground wizards so it will be interesting to see who has the better stand up game.