Friday morning, one day before UFC 142 Anthony Johnson woke up feeling great. Just a few pounds over the 185 pound limit for his middleweight bout with Vitor Belfort, Johnson anticipated no problem cutting weight for the fight. Then everything went wrong.
After a few hours of cutting weight and getting to within a pound and one-half of the limit, Johnson's leg went numb and his alarmed team called in the UFC's doctor for consultation. The doctor ordered Johnson to be rehydrated by IV and dashed any hopes he had of making weight for the fight.
UFC president Dana White was not happy and made his displeasure with Johnson clear in his second video blog for UFC 142. Johnson's opponent Vitor Belfort was not happy and made his displeasure clear pre-fight.
Then come fight time Johnson seemingly had to battle both Belfort and referee Dan Miragliotta who kept standing the fight back up pretty quickly every time Johnson succeeded in forcing the fight to the ground. Belfort didn't need much help as he stunned Johnson with a knee to the face and followed up with a rear naked choke for the finish.
"A loss is a loss. My legs just got really tired. I didn't get beat up in there and he really didn't hurt me with what he hit me with. I just got tired. I've got to figure this thing out," Johnson said after the fight.
The ordeal wasn't over for Johnson after losing the fight either.
UFC president Dana White wasted little time in cutting Johnson from the promotion. "This is his third time (to miss weight for a UFC bout)," White said. "Three strikes and you're gone."
"That was one of the most unprofessional things I've ever seen," White said. "The guy was at 170 pounds. He moved up to 185 pounds so this wouldn't happen anymore, and this is the worst weightcutting disaster he's ever had. He almost ruined the co-main event here in Brazil. I don't know what else to say about that one. I'm not happy about it."
For Johnson, it's going to be a long re-think of his mixed martial arts career and it will happen outside the bound of the sport's biggest promotion.