Scott Coker says Anthony Johnson still not cleared, unsure of his return
It may be some time before Anthony Johnson is back in the cage.
Former UFC title challenger and current light heavyweight contender Bellator is still not cleared to compete. Johnson (23-6 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) is not 100% healthy and is still recovering from an undisclosed illness that forced him to retire from a title shot in October, according to Scott Coker.
Johnson, 37, was scheduled to challenge champion Vadim Nemkov in the semi-final of the light heavyweight grand prix at Bellator 268 before his retirement.
“Rumble” hasn’t been booked to compete since, and it looks like it won’t be anytime soon.
“I spoke to him about a week ago and we had a really good conversation,” Bellator Coker president told MMA Junkie. “Without worrying too much about his health, he must first worry about being in good health. The fights will always be there. I told him to keep doing what he is doing, to keep listening to the doctors and to keep going. We’re going to be here, we’re not going anywhere. If you are cleared at some point, we will definitely get you back.
“I think he’s got a bit of a way to go, to be honest, and we’re going to be there to put him down. But until he gets the clearance – I don’t think he’s going to fight in six months or four months or eight months. Let him take his time, let him be healthy and when he is healthy we can have a conversation. If it’s a year, 18 months, or six months, we’ll get there. But until then he has to heal and get healthy because there is so much more to life than fighting. I want him to have a long and healthy life and that is the most important thing.
Johnson recently competed in the Bellator 258 in May when he stopped Jose Augusto by knockout in the second round. The victory marked his successful Bellator debut and a return to competition, as he hadn’t fought since losing to Daniel Cormier in a light heavyweight title fight at UFC 210 in 2017 and then s ‘is suddenly withdrawn.
Johnson is best known for his time in the UFC. He competed for promotion from 2007 to 2012 and then again from 2014 to 2017. Johnson challenged twice for the 205 ponds, losing to Cormier each time.