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‘Rumble’ talks Bellator signing, current relationship with the UFC

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“Now, I’m on a new journey. I’m excited to be doing what I do now and with who I’m with Bellator”.

We all knew Anthony Johnson was planning a return to MMA, but no one predicted ‘Rumble’ would sign with Bellator.

UFC president Dana White isn’t sure why Johnson made that decision, but the latter wants White to know that there was never any bad blood and that he holds no ill will towards him or anyone else at the UFC.

The way Johnson sees it, he’s simply on a new life journey.

“I’ve just got so much going on and my life is taking me in a different direction,” Johnson told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin on Wednesday. “I’ve been out for a while anyway and I was pretty much up with my [UFC] contract. It was just best if I go another route right now, especially with the business I’ve got going on. But whenever UFC and I went our ways, it was never a drop of bad blood or negativity or any kind of dispute or ‘oh we’re just going to cut you.’ No, it was nothing like that. Everything was all good. Mutual and respectful. I have a ton of respect for the organization, Dana [White] and even the Fertittas for taking it as far as they did already.

“Now, I’m on a new journey. I’m excited to be doing what I do now and with who I’m with Bellator.”

Johnson, who is expected to return at light heavyweight, would like to make his Bellator debut in April but didn’t reveal any potential opponents.

“If it’s up to me I’ll be fighting in April sometime,” Johnson said. “That’s when I want to fight, personally, in April. I haven’t been offered anything, any opponents yet at all. But for me, I’m shooting for April. If it happens in May, I guess I’ll be fighting in May but I don’t want to fight before then.

“I want to make sure I get every bit of training in before I step foot in the cage. I want to make sure I’m complete.”

Johnson came up short on capturing UFC gold on two separate occasions but could potentially have championship success in Bellator.