After making an impressive return to the UFC, Anthony Johnson will fight for the second time this year against respected light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on FOX 12 in San Jose, CA., Fox Sports confirmed. The fight will feature on the main card and is the first official bout announced for the card, with the main event yet to be revealed.
Defeating Phil Davis in what many feel is his most impressive performance of his career, Johnson now faces another respected 205lber on his quest for UFC gold. After the win over Davis skyrocketed Johnson’s status and put him in the #5 spot of the division, many fans felt it was just a matter of time before ‘Rumble’ would fight for the title. Johnson disagreed, and stated that his goal is to build himself up, take some fights and keep active, and he is doing just that.
With 7 wins in a row, Johnson has found his home at light heavyweight and is looking better than ever. His 6 wins outside of the promotion, which included four wins by way of knockout and wins over Andrei Arlovski and David Branch, ‘Rumble’ received another call-up to the UFC after being cut by the promotion in 2012.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira hasn’t appeared inside the cage for over 15 months, defeating now-#2 ranked Rashad Evans at UFC 156. The win took his UFC record to 4-2, with two wins in a row and he was immediately put into the top 5 of the division. However, his inactivity has led to Nogueira being taken out of the rankings, though a win over Johnson would put him back in line for a shot at the title.
Known for his boxing ability and black belt BJJ, ‘Minotoro’ has compiled an impressive 21-5 record as a professional which includes an 8-2 stint in Pride FC. Now 37 years of age, time is running out for Nogueira, but if he is able to get past a rejuvenated ‘Rumble’ Johnson, a title shot could be closer than it seems.
UFC on FOX 12 in San Jose, CA. will be held on July 26 at SAP Centre. Johnson vs. Nogueira is, hitherto, the only fight announced for the card, with many more expected in the coming weeks.