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Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson teases summer UFC return, says he has already KO’d two sparring partners in the gym

Anthony Johnson will look to return to the UFC next summer.

UFC 210: Cormier v Johnson 2 Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s going to be a while before we see Anthony Johnson back in the Octagon.

‘Rumble’ was expected to make a comeback in April, but the former UFC light heavyweight title challenger says the date has been pushed back to June/July 2020.

“I was trying to shoot for April/May but maybe June/July,” Johnson told The MAC Life in a recent interview. “We’ll see. But whenever I come back I’m going to make sure it’s known. I want to come back and showcase everything and fight and just hurt people.”

Johnson, who hasn’t fought since his submission loss to then-light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 210, says he has already KO’d two sparring partners in training despite only returning to the gym in the last couple of days.

“I’m coming back now and I feel a lot better, my punches are stronger, harder, faster. The other day my coach said, ‘AJ, you’re still dangerous.’ He walked up to me after - this was the second time he saw me spar, because he’s been gone - he came up to me and said, ‘AJ, you’re still dangerous. You’re still very fast and punch hard.’ I’ve knocked out two people already in training in the first two days of sparring so I feel like everything is clicking.”

The 35-year-old looks forward to returning to the UFC as heavyweight, where he feels he has a significant speed advantage over the rest of the division.

“Right now I feel good being at 240,” he said. “If I were to fight right now at heavyweight for 240, I’d feel just fine. I feel like I still have my strength. I’m definitely not going to be one of the bigger heavyweight guys, there’s some monsters at heavyweight, but my advantage would probably be speed over a majority of those guys. Everybody at heavyweight for the most part has power but I think I’m much faster than those guys and I’ll probably have a little bit more knockout power. Don’t take that from me, I’m just saying.

“Those guys at heavyweight are amazing. I look forward to fighting all of them.”

Johnson didn’t reveal an opponent but the Floridan has teased of superfights with Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou. ‘Bones’, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champ and current pound-for-pound #1, said in October that he would be ‘more than happy’ to choke Johnson out.