Anthony Johnson surprised many when he announced his retirement back in April. He lost to reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier via submission, then feeling that it was time for him to walk away from the sport. But according to his manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, “Rumble” has had a change of heart.

Abdel-Aziz recently spoke to Ariel Herwani of “The MMA Hour” and revealed that Johnson is planning a potential comeback. They plan to sit down with UFC President Dana White this week and added that a return had to make sense.

Moving up in weight

Should talks progress well, Johnson may reportedly return but in the heavyweight class. Abdel-Aziz stressed that they want “Rumble” make a return in the heavier weight class and added that his potential next fight would likely happen by the second quarter of 2018 at the earliest.

Johnson will have to be in the USADA drug testing pool for a period of six months, ample time for him to also get back into shape. Little has been known about the mixed martial artist after falling to Cormier via rare-naked choke at “UFC 210.”

Has Johnson given up on the light heavyweight title chase?

Ironically, Johnson had two chances to win the UFC light heavyweight title – both against Cormier. The first one came at “UFC 187” in 2012 where he lost via the same rear-naked choke submission move.

Having lost twice in a row, the frustration of solving the “D.C.” riddle does make sense.

Similar to his alleged intention to return to the UFC, it may only be a matter of time before he decides to slide down and make another attempt at the elusive title. The third meeting with Cormier makes no sense at this point, meaning he would have to make an impressive run to rebuild his credibility.

In the heavyweight division, his ability to knock out bigger opponents will be closely monitored. Heavier opponents would be hard to bring down, meaning Johnson and company will have to find other ways to wear down potential opponents before going for the kill.

Johnson already had a taste of the heavyweight division back in 2013.

He went up against Andrei Arlovski and won via unanimous decision at “WSOF 2.” Aside from Arlovski, other notable names in the division include reigning champion Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez.

“Rumble” may face one of those UFC heavyweights and work his way up the rankings. One target is the UFC heavyweight title, a run that will hopefully pay dividends. Once that objective is accomplished, expect rumblings of another potential shot at the light heavyweight title. If that is in the plans, the third time could be a make or break for Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.