By: Chris Taylor (Kalapaki Joe’s Staff Writer)
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson shocked fans by announcing his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts following his second-round submission loss to Daniel Cormier at this past weekend’s UFC 210 pay-per-view event in Buffalo, New York.
Johnson stated the following in his post-fight interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
“This is just something I have to do for me. I love you all. I said I love you!”
“This uh… This was my last fight. I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t even tell Dana White. My coaches knew, my family knew and my friends knew. I didn’t want any distractions. But I have to thank you all for being there for me,” Johnson said with tears in his eyes. “I gave my commitment to another job. Something that I have wanted to do for a while. It is not MMA related or anything like that. It is just time for me to move on to something else. I’m tired of getting punched by guys and rolling around on the ground with guys and stuff like that. Aint nothing fun about that yo. I enjoyed you Joe (Rogan). I enjoyed you UFC. I enjoyed you ZUFFA. Thank you. I will never forget you. And what better place to end my career than in Buffalo, New York.”
Following Johnson’s career ending defeat, which marked the second time that Anthony had suffered a submission loss to Daniel Cormier, rumors started to fly that “Rumble” was headed to the NFL – possibly with the LA Rams.
Johnson was quick to deny the football rumors but according to his coach Henri Hooft “Rumble’s” next career move does have something to do with the gridiron.
“I’m not going to go into details, because I don’t know the real details, but everybody sees his (social media) pages and it has to do with football,” Hooft said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I don’t know, I didn’t really discuss the details, but he seems to be busy with this for awhile and enjoying it. It has something to do, totally different than with MMA, and I think if you really want to stop fighting, you really need to step away from it, because if you keep hanging in there, you’ll probably get lured back in there.”
“Anthony is 33 years old, so you never know what happens in the future, but if you want to step away from it, you really need to step away from it. Or you need to become a coach, like I did after my fight career. But it’s totally different than MMA. I think it has something to do with football. If you look at his Twitter and his social media, people will find out sooner or later what’s really going on.”
Do you think we will see Anthony Johnson in the NFL?