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Anthony Johnson responds to calls for Yoel Romero fight, gives timeline for Bellator debut

Anthony Johnson is officially a Bellator light heavyweight and while he’s leaving most of the roadmap up to his management and promotion, “Rumble” has already made a few concrete decisions.

Although he does not have a Bellator debut set, Johnson will compete at 205 pounds. This, despite getting up to 280 pounds since he retired in April 2017. In an interview with MMA Junkie on Wednesday, Johnson revealed he currently weighs somewhere in the ballpark of 230.

“Because I ain’t fat no more,” Johnson said. “It’s plain and simple. When I was talking about coming back, I was like 280 or something like that. I’m 230 or maybe a little bit less, give or take. If they want some, I’ll piece somebody up (at heavyweight) if they want it. But why would I want to go up against somebody who’s got 20, 30, 40 pounds on me? You know what I mean? If I’m going to fight you, it’s going to be an even playing field. But if I have to go up and beat Goliath, I’ll do that.”

Johnson (22-6 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) added that he’s hoping to compete sometime around April, which gives him a little over four months to prepare. As for an opponent, Johnson isn’t interested in playing matchmaker – though the social media mobs have driven one name his way in Yoel Romero.

Romero (13-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who signed with Bellator earlier this week, told ESPN there’s a 90 percent chance he fights Johnson in his Bellator debut.

“I do believe eventually it will happen,” Johnson said. “… I think it’ll be maybe (my) second, maybe (my) third fight. … I was surprised when I saw what he said. The whole 90 percent thing threw me for a spin because I was like, ‘Nobody said nothing to me. I’ve seen your name more on my Instagram than on a contract.’ You know what I’m saying?”

“I don’t know what he’s been told. I don’t know what he’s trying to do. I understand promoting and hype, but I don’t know about that 90 percent thing. Honestly, I haven’t been presented anything. It is what it is. Both of us are high-caliber fighters. All I can say is I respect him, and I wish him the best in the organization. We’re going to have a lot of fun here. Let’s make the best of this whole situation we’re in.”

One of Bellator’s marquee products is its grand prix tournaments. With the featherweight grand prix coming to a close, Bellator president Scott Coker is still undecided on what weight class would be next. “Rumble” would be all-in if the Bellator brass chose the 205-pound weight class.

“Man, I’m used to PRIDE,” Johnson said. “You know what I mean where they had the tournaments and stuff like that? You know what I mean? If we could do stuff like that, I’m definitely down.”

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