UFC light-heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson was all set to face then-champ at light-heavyweight Jon Jones at UFC 187 this past May. ‘Rumble’ was on a nine fight winning streak heading in to that fight, and eventually faced current champion Daniel Cormier for the vacated title. A lot’s changed since then, Johnson got submitted by ‘DC’, and Cormier has gone on to defend his belt against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192.
Ryan Bader was very briefly linked to a bout with the 205-pound boss, and recently snubbed a challenge from ‘Rumble’ to fight. Now with the news that ‘Bones’ has been reinstated by the promotion, Johnson reacts via his Facebook account, pointing out that Bader will have pretty much no chance at a title shot before the ex-champion:
@ryanbader are we gonna sit and wait forever or are we gonna fight?
Much respect to you but we need to fight…
Jon is gonna get the next shot at DC soooo let’s not waste precious time, UFC time and most importantly the fans time!
See you soon I look forward to the battle my friend…
During a recent interview with MMAJunkie.com, Bader’s coach Aaron Simpson said the following:
“I don’t know why we’re talking about Anthony Johnson,” he said. “Anthony’s a great fighter. He’s got one win so far. He’s on a one-fight win streak. Bader’s on a five-fight win streak. Anthony’s a great fighter; he’s a pretty good dude. I know he’s had some issues in the past with his life, but he’s out calling Bader out, and the UFC’s even wanting Bader to fight him. But we were told – Bader talked to Dana White, and Dana said, ‘If you beat Rashad Evans, nobody can deny you the next title shot.’ Well, why are we talking about Anthony Johnson?”
‘Rumble’ was quick to respond to the comments:
1 fight win streak I’ll take it…
Saying something about issues outside of the cage? What’s your point?
Quality wins and finishes yeah let’s compare the two!
I’ll always have respect for my opponent but his coach is writing a check his ass can’t cash!
So what are we thinking here? Should ‘Darth’ just sack up and fight Johnson? Yes it’s a very dangerous fight but, as of now, ‘Rumble’ is ranked as number one in the division. With Jones’ return now certain, legal woes behind him, Bader may get a long sit if he decides to wait for the winner.
Cormier has said he wants two more fights with his old rival ‘Bones’ before calling it quits on fighting, and who’s to say that won’t happen? Johnson is as legitimate and highly ranked as it’s likely to get for Bader right now, so what’s it going to be?
We’ll keep you posted.