Yes, obviously, the two would fight at some point. Johnson didn't know the when and where of it, but that matchup was inevitable. And it would be on fire when it took place.
But following Jones' latest issues regarding the UFC's anti-doping policy, Johnson (21-5), who fights Glover Teixeira at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 at T-Mobile Arena, isn't sure anymore.
"It's just not gonna happen -- at this point, I know it's not gonna happen," Johnson told ESPN.com. "It is what it is. I'm moving forward. Everybody is moving forward. I'm still shooting high and trying to do what I can in this sport. I'm not focused on Jon anymore. And I can tell you Daniel Cormier, Glover -- they're not focused on Jon, either. Nobody in this division is focused on Jon anymore. That's a fact."
Jones (22-1) is currently facing a potential two-year suspension for testing positive for estrogen blockers, prior to a scheduled fight against Cormier at UFC 200. His camp has stated it will appeal the failed test.
Johnson was supposed to fight Jones last year, but Jones was arrested on a hit-and-run charge and pulled from the fight. Johnson went on to lose his next bout to Cormier, further postponing a potential matchup with Jones.
"I'm moving forward. Everybody is moving forward. I'm still shooting high and trying to do what I can in this sport. I'm not focused on Jon anymore. And I can tell you Daniel Cormier, Glover -- they're not focused on Jon, either. Nobody in this division is focused on Jon anymore." Anthony Johnson
An opportunity for the bout briefly opened again in April, when Cormier was forced out of a fight against Jones at UFC 197 -- but Johnson was unavailable to step in and replace him due to recent dental work.
It's been disappointing the two haven't met, as Johnson arguably represents the last real contender at 205 pounds whom Jones hasn't already beaten. Knowing that, Johnson always felt confident the two would meet -- but Jones' eligibility to fight (or lack of it) is out of his control.
"When the UFC 200 stuff first happened, I was just in shock with everything," Johnson said. "Maybe for a couple of days or a week or two, I was just extremely disappointed. I was like, 'Damn, this is just really not gonna happen.' I was looking forward to it just as much as anyone was. So, it does disappoint me.
"I'm not mad at Jon. It doesn't affect me, but I feel bad for the man, you know? I wish the best for everybody. I wish he would have made a smarter decision. If he did take those estrogen blockers or whatever, I wish he was smarter than that. But Jon is his own man. It is what it is. It's on Jon, not me."
When asked if he thought there was a chance he'd still be around if Jones does indeed receive a full two-year suspension, Johnson, 32, didn't know.
"I ain't trying to fight until I'm 35," Johnson said. "I'm trying to make my money and go on to something different -- do bigger and better things with my life. Hell, I don't want to get punched in the head that damn much. I've got other things I want to do."
For now his focus is on the hard-hitting Teixeira (25-4), who is coming off a first-round knockout over Rashad Evans, Johnson's Blackzilians teammate and friend.
"This is going to be a fun fight," Johnson said. "This is a fun fight for me and the fans. Glover is a brawler."