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Bellator has a new opponent in mind for Timothy Johnson’s second promotional outing.
As a result of Valentin Moldavsky’s withdrawal from their Bellator 225 clash, Johnson (12-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) will now likely face Azunna Anyanwu (15-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) instead.
A Bellator official confirmed to MMA Junkie the bout is being “targeted,” but is not a done deal at this time. MyMMANews was the first to report the news Friday.
Bellator 225 takes place Aug. 24 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. The main card airs on Paramount Network after prelims stream on MMA Junkie.
Johnson, 34, signed with Bellator in April after a seven-fight tenure with the UFC. “The Bear” compiled a 4-3 UFC record from April 2015 to October 2018 with wins over the likes of Marcin Tybura and Shamil Abdurakhimov.
His promotional debut for Bellator in October did not go according to plan. At Bellator 208, Cheick Kongo made quick work of Johnson when he finished him with strikes in 68 seconds.
Another veteran of the UFC, Anyanwu only had one fight under the promotion’s banner before he was released. A competitor on season 1 of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” Anyanwu knocked out Greg Rebello in thunderous fashion at DWCS 1. The finish didn’t earn him a contract immediately, but weeks later, the UFC came knocking.
After he lost a split decision to Justin Ledet at UFC Fight Night 116 in Sept. 2017, Anyanwu was flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a banned substance, furosemide. Anyanwu was suspended one year. Ten months later, Anyanwu was given his walking papers. Anyanwu said he was unsure of the source of the positive test.
“My prescription that I was on, I get it restocked every month,” Anyanwu told FloCombat last year. “They said the lisinopril pills I had ain’t have nothing tainted on it, so it could have been the old batch. Who knows? I’m thinking it could have been cross-contamination, like something similar to what happened to Junior Dos Santos.”
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