After Retirement Announcement, ‘Rumble’ Johnson Shoots Down Rumors of NFL Aspirations

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 9, 2017

Anthony Johnson won’t say exactly what his post-MMA retirement plans are just yet. However, he will say what they aren’t.

Shortly after “Rumble” called it a career following his loss to Daniel Cormier in the UFC 210 main event, speculation turned to his next venture. And it was hard not to notice that his Twitter bio suddenly included the hashtags #RumbleSquad #Rams #LARams. Johnson was quick to shoot down any rumors of him pursuing an NFL career.

“I am not about to go play football for the Rams,” he said at the post-fight press conference. “That’s absolutely insane.”

For now, Johnson isn’t ready to reveal exactly what it is that led him to walk away from the sport while seemingly in his prime at 33 years old.

It’s something you’ll find out soon,” he said on Fox Sports 1. “I don’t want to run my mouth too fast. I know it’s going to happen, but everything happens when it’s supposed to.”

The rematch with Cormier didn’t go as planned for Johnson. The feared knockout artist spent much of the fight engaging Cormier in the champion’s comfort zone, as he attempted multiple takedowns and battled “DC” in close quarters. That yielded a predictable result, as Cormier got the better of the grappling exchanges and submitted his foe with a rear-naked choke 3:37 into round two.

Even if the result had been different and Johnson had walked away with the light heavyweight title, he claims that his decision would have remained the same.

“It’s been in my mind for a while, but win, lose or draw this was going to be my last one,” he said. “They are waiting on me. I just have to do it. I wouldn’t be ‘Rumble’ Johnson if it wasn’t for mixed martial arts and UFC. I’m grateful for the journey.”

Just who “they” are remains to be seen, although Johnson did confirm that his upcoming endeavor was “just business.” He also left the door open for an MMA return if the mystery venture doesn’t work out.

“I gave something else my commitment. If I don’t like it I can come back and still fight. Hopefully the world will still accept me with open arms…I just have to right now. It’s nothing personal,” he said. “No injuries, nothing with the family. It’s something I just have to do. In due time everybody will know.”


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