Dana White has always had a good working relationship with Anthony Johnson, which is why it came as a shock to the UFC president when ‘Rumble’ signed with Bellator earlier this week.
Johnson had re-entered USADA’s drug testing pool and teased of a UFC comeback but, for whatever reason, the former UFC light heavyweight title challenger decided not to renew his contract and sign with a rival MMA promotion instead.
White was sparse with details but said it’s probably for the best that Johnson is headed to Bellator.
“Listen, we love the guy,” White told reporters following Friday’s UFC 256 official weigh-ins (h/t Mike Bohn and John Morgan of MMA Junkie). “I have a great relationship with him, I’ve always liked him, never had any problems with him other than some weight cutting issues back at 170 (pounds). He’s a great guy, we love him, we’d love to have him here, but it’s probably better for him to go somewhere else.”
“No, he does want to be with the UFC,” White said when asked for further information. “It just didn’t work out. Ask him. That’s his business, not mine.”
Johnson is expected to make his Bellator debut at light heavyweight but Scott Coker is open to the 36-year-old fighting at heavyweight in the future.