Chad Anheliger thought he and Jose Johnson would fight

Chad Anheliger thought he and Jose Johnson would fight on the regional scene, expects it to be a fun striking fight at UFC Vegas 82

Chad Anheliger wasn’t sure when he would be able to fight again.

Anheliger suffered a shoulder injury during his loss to Alatengheili back at UFC 279 in September of 2022. After the loss, the Canadian knew he needed to get his shoulder healed which took a bit longer than expected.

“It was injuries, I actually got hurt in that fight. I ended up tearing something in my shoulder, like a rotator cuff. It just took a really long time for it to get healed so I could start training at 100 percent for a fight,” Anheliger said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I was lucky in a way, cause it wasn’t injured so bad I couldn’t do anything, I could still train, just not in full intensity and couldn’t do the MMA sparring that I would need for a fight. I used that time to work on a lot of things and get better.”

Once Chad Anheliger was ready to return, he was offered Jose Johnson at UFC Vegas 82. It’s a fight that Anheliger thought would happen years ago as the two were close to getting booked on the regional scene.

But, now that it’s happening in the UFC, it only adds more excitement for Anheliger.

“I thought we would meet up in the past when we were both on the regional circuit. There were times we were looking for guys to fight because I had been through everyone in Canada and he was a guy on the list at one time. I’m not surprised when the name came up, it’s definitely going to be a fun matchup. I was happy to say yes,” Anheliger said.

Against Jose Johnson, Chad Anheliger knows he will have to deal with the reach disadvantage which is nothing new in his career. However, he believes he sees some holes in Johnson’s striking which will lead to a KO win at UFC Vegas 82.

“It’s going to be an interesting fight. I really feel like I have the advantage on the feet, but he may think he does, which usually pushes a fun striking matchup. If things are going the way I want, I will wear him down and if I decide to take him down I will do that, too. I feel really confident in this fight. He throws a lot of strikes but that puts him in danger, so I hope to knock him out and get an extra $50k,” Anheliger said.

Should Chad Anheliger get the win on Saturday at the Apex, he hopes he can make a quick turnaround and get a big fight next.

“A win jumps me right back up. I lost my last fight but I’ve won 10 of my last 11 my last fight was a close decision loss and had to battle back through a busted nose and a shoulder injury. I go out there and knock out Jose, I feel like I’m looking for a big fight next time out,” Anheliger concluded.