This weekend very well may see the welcome emergence of a new threat in the middleweight division, as longtime top welterweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will be debuting in the weight class against Vitor Belfort.
“Moving up to face Vitor was a new chapter in my life, a new challenge,” says Johnson. “I’m going to stay here and I’m going to take over this weight class.”
While Johnson is still coming into his own inside the cage, Belfort is a seasoned veteran, having begun his career in 1996 and since faced off against some of the very best fighters in the world. Johnson respects his opponent – his skills and what he’s done – but believes he has what it takes to come through with the upset.
“I’m going to use everything in my power to dominate Vitor in every way possible,” he asserts. “He’s fast, he’s powerful, he has a lot of experience, but my right hand is his Kryptonite.”
If things go perfectly this weekend for Johnson, his new peers in the middleweight division will be very aware of his presence at 185-pounds.
“I will dominate Vitor Belfort. Chael Sonnen is seen as the top threat to Anderson Silva’s title; well, I am at 185-pounds and everyone at middleweight has to worry about me now,” Johnson warns. “I’m in this division to go to the top. You will see a whole different animal now I am at this weight class.”
Johnson and Belfort will meet in the co-main event of UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes, which goes down this Saturday at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. FightLine will be back on the night as always with our live, ongoing coverage of the event.