MMA stars Blaydes, Johnson Compete in Sumo Match
Athletes known for their runs in MMA fought against one another this past weekend, but not inside a cage or an octagon. Curtis Blaydes and Anthony Johnson competed in separate sumo bouts at a SubStars grappling event in Miami, Florida. They eventually met up later in the evening.
Interested in learning more about sumo? Check out the newest FIGHT SPORTS feature, Sumo Sundays.
The exhibition matches had Blaydes facing off against five-time Japanese National University Champion Takeshi Amitani. The veteran in Amitani took care of Blaydes fairly quickly, taking “Razor” down to the ground from the clinch, ending the bout with a hip toss. Johnson faced off against one of the heaviest sumo champions in the world in Yamamotoyama. This was a quicker result, as “Rumble” was just picked up and placed out of the circle.
Blaydes (13-2, 1NC) and Johnson (22-6) then fought one another, with Johnson taking the early advantage in the first round. The heavyweight contender in Blaydes was able to drag Johnson out of the ring in round two before hitting an inside trip to beat Johnson.
You can watch the bout via the below video.
— Casual Talk MMA (@CasualTalkMMA) February 22, 2020
While not competing full-time in sumo soon, this was a tuneup of sorts for Blaydes, who is waiting for his next fight. Blaydes is on a three-fight win streak, last beating Junior dos Santos back in January via TKO. He is 7-1 in his last eight fights.
As for Johnson, the former light heavyweight contender is interested in returning to the UFC after more than two years away. Johnson’s last bout was a submission loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in April 2017. He is 3-2 in his last five fights. There is a chance Johnson is moving to the heavyweight division, but he has yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool.