Anthony Johnson's weight cutting problems appear to be over for the moment. The oft-maligned welterweight has decided to move up to 185 pounds and battle Brazilian contender Vitor Belfort at UFC 142. UFC officials confirmed the news on Tuesday.
Johnson (10-3) announced the move on the heels of a dominating TKO victory over Charlie Brennemen at UFC on Versus 6. Often referenced as one of the largest welterweights in the UFC, "Rumble" has faced continual issues with cutting weight that have only worsened since an early-2010 knee injury. At the time, Johnson mentioned to several sources that he generally cuts upwards of 50 pounds to make the 170-pound limit.
Meanwhile, Belfort (20-9) returns for the first time since earning "Knockout of the Night" honors with a first-round domination of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133. After the win, "The Phenom" was briefly tied to a matchup with former Strikeforce champion Cung Le at UFC 139, before being forced out with injury. The Brazilian superstar will now fight inside his home country for the first time since 1998.
UFC 142 is slated for January 14th at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event is headlined by a featherweight title bout between Brazilian champion Jose Aldo and American challenger Chad Mendes.
UFC 142 fight card:
Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes
Middleweight: Anthony Johnson vs. Vitor Belfort