In news that I’m certain will make Anthony Johnson’s internal organs very happy, his agent Ken Pavia just told MMA Junkie that the welterweight fighter is considering a move up to middleweight. Johnson is somewhat famous for shoehorning himself into the 170 division, cutting as much as 50 freaking pounds to get there. He blew his weigh-in at UFC 104 by five pounds and regularly has to be dragged / carried to weigh-ins by his corner because he’s so dehydrated. But even this plus his tendency to get less rumble and more run down after the first round hasn’t convinced him that moving is a good idea:
Johnson has not yet agreed to the move, and Pavia said any weight change will be temporary. There is no concrete timetable for the his return and no current offers to appear at middleweight.
“It’s touch and go until he reaches another level of rehabilitation,” Pavia said. “He’s anxious to go, and we’re holding him back because we don’t want the injury to be re-occurring.
The UFC has no objections to Johnson’s move, he added.
“[UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva has a couple rules that he lives by, one of which is he’ll never tell a fighter what weight to fight at, and he’ll never make a fighter fight injured,” Pavia said. “And he’ll tell you that over and over again.
“That being said, the last time he saw [Johnson], he turned to me and said, ‘C’mon, dude.’ So that’s one of the reasons we’re entertaining an [185 pound] fight. It’s not for sure yet.
Pavia said Johnson’s priority is winning the welterweight belt followed by the middleweight belt.
“[A middleweight fight] may expedite his return, as opposed to taking more time off to reach the ultimate goal,” Pavia said. “I don’t think he’s convinced. He’s considering it.”
Not only will a move to middleweight keep Johnson’s kidneys from shutting down and his gas tank from running half-full, it just seems like a better fit for his striking style. Sure, Rumble has wrestling, but not the kind of wrestling that can compete with the chops of guys like GSP, Josh Koscheck, and Jon Fitch. Meanwhile, Chael Sonnen just blew everyone’s mind and earned a title shot by basically lay’n’praying Nate Marquardt. It just seems like a better environment for someone like Johnson … well, right up until he gets destroyed by Silva. But I’d rather see that than Georges St Pierre double-legging the shit out of him and subbing him in two rounds.