Though you couldn’t tell by his demeanor, Anthony Johnson had a pretty rough weekend.
The 27-year-old Rumble struggled and ultimately failed to make weight for his middleweight debut against Vitor Belfort, then he lost the fight by first round submission and was subsequently cut from the UFC.
Picked by many to win, Johnson did well in the early goings of the fight, getting Belfort down on more than one occasion and mounting some significant offense from top position. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to break the seasoned veteran and Belfort came back hard, eventually taking his back and securing a rear naked choke, which Johnson tapped to, ending the fight in the first round.
Following the fight, Johnson explained that he suffered from extreme fatigue just moments after the bout had started, likely related to the trouble he experienced while cutting weight.
“A loss is a loss. My legs just got really tired,” he said. “I didn’t get beat up in there and he really didn’t hurt me with what he hit me with. I just got tired. I’ve got to figure this thing out.”
Johnson met Belfort at UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The defeat brought him to 10-4 as a pro.