When Anthony Johnson tapped out to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 earlier this year, it was supposed to be his final act in the cage. After coming up short for a second time against Cormier, Johnson announced a shocking retirement from the sport to venture into the marijuana business. But earlier this week, Johnson’s manager Ali Abdel-Aziz told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that “Rumble,” was already contemplating a return to fighting, and that doesn’t sit right with his most recent opponent.
On the most recent edition of his podcast Talk & Talker, Cormier spoke out about Johnson’s short-lived retirement, saying that it seems Johnson was just bitter about losing to him for a second time.
“So here’s the thing, there’s something that’s kind of bothering me right now and it’s news that Anthony Johnson is coming out of retirement. I feel like if he was going to retire maybe he should have stayed retired a little bit longer because when you do that, you come back this quick, it just kind of feels like ‘Oh you were mad because you lost, so you just quit’. Right? It’s not even a six-month retirement. So it feels kind of like you were mad because you lost, and you kind of just quit. That’s not the way things are supposed to be, you know?”
The comments from Cormier are a bit surprising as he and Johnson previously had a respectful relationship with each other but the light heavyweight champion says that their relationship soured ahead of his battle with Jon Jones at UFC 214, when he saw “Rumble” cozying up with Jones.
“Rumble Johnson and I have always been respectful with each other but something happened at UFC 214 that has forever made me change the way I’m going to interact with Anthony Johnson:
“I walk into the back of the weigh-ins for UFC 214, and there’s Rumble. And I go up to Rumble and he says ‘What’s up DC? You look good.’ Give him a hug, and I say ‘Hey man, I hope you’re enjoying your retirement. You seem happy. I wish you nothing but continued success,’ and I go about my business, much as you’d expect two guys who have competed and have respect for each other would interact.
“Then in walks Jon Jones, and I expect him to – a guy he was supposed to fight, and may at some point still fight – give him the same type of conversation and kind of keep it moving, as a man. But Jon walks in, they give each other the shake and the hug, and they talk a little bit, and the conversation seems like Anthony is almost giving him advice. . .
“[Later], I guess Jon’s putting on his shoes or something, and then Rumble walks up to him again but now they’re hugging. Legitimately hugging! Rumble’s leaning over while Jon’s tying his shoes, and Rumble’s leaning over and giving him advice.
“What the f**k kind of advice are you giving him? F**king what the f**k? Why are you so friendly? This is a guy that at some point you may have to fight. You’re his friend now? Why the f**k are you his friend? Are you just hoping that he wins because I beat you? What the f**k are you doing?”
For a long time, Johnson was viewed as the most interesting challenger to Jones based on his brutal knockout power but there was never any bad blood between them. Like with Cormier, Johnson had a respectful relationship with Jones, even staging a fake brawl with Jones to prank UFC President Dana White ahead of their scheduled bout at UFC 187. That bout never came to fruition as Jones was stripped of his title and suspended by the UFC, and now seems unlikely to ever happen as Johnson is retired and Jones is facing a lengthy suspension.
But while a “Bones”-“Rumble” fight may not happen, this latest development could lead to a possible third fight with Cormier should Johnson end his retirement. The UFC light heavyweight champion was heated about Johnson’s actions, calling him “f**king soft” and saying that any relationship the two had is now over.
“I’m done dude. Rumble and I have no more relationship. What the f**k are you so friendly with a guy in your weight class for? F**k that. The competitor in you shouldn’t allow you to be that nice to that guy. In my mind, that dude is f**king soft. You should never be that f**king friendly with somebody, especially if it’s somebody that you may end up fighting. We can be respectful but you don’t need to be f**king friendly bobbing all over the place.
“The reality is, that s**t pissed me off. I’m not gonna be f**king friends with him anymore, I’m not gonna be f**king respectful with him anymore because who needs to be that f**king nice. Anybody that’s that nice has an ulterior motive, that’s my thought. F**k that.”
Results. Barb Honchak beat Gillian Robertson by TKO on episode six of TUF 26.
$$. Demetrious Johnson says he’s getting PPV points for the first time this weekend.
Title. Johnson says the winner of Cejudo-Pettis probably deserves the next title shot.
Real. Kevin Lee challenges Conor McGregor to impress him for shot at “real title.”
Distractions. Following numerous tragedies, Derrick Lewis admits he’s “not focused” ahead of UFC 216.
Warms the heart.
First two embeddeds.
Bisping on Conan.
Several free fights.
Tommy from Fox Sports.
Rogan discussing steroids.
Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discusses Ferguson vs. Lee and Seagal vs. Foreman.
Heavy Hands. Discussions on Ferguson vs. Lee and the best of UFC 216.
Submission Radio. Luke Thomas, Jon Anik, and John Morgan interviews.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Well done, UFC.
Usually the marquee for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has a bunch of ads for upcoming events, but not this week. pic.twitter.com/hmpIzf2NFG
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 5, 2017
Ariel got an answer to the single most important question in MMA.
Ever Wonder Why @TonyFergusonXT Capitalizes The First Letter Of Every Word On Twitter? Well, Now We Know. Full Intv: https://t.co/fHSIQqYpZJ pic.twitter.com/fxHvqbUZNd
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) October 5, 2017
Boss Logic on 217.
Wanted to go with something vibrant in colour for this one #UFC217 damn good card! @ufc pic.twitter.com/EhvPPKx9DJ
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) October 5, 2017
The Black Beast.
The best gym I ever been to which doesn’t say much because I’m FAT ♂️ pic.twitter.com/W6GLNHZHpj
— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) October 5, 2017
Angela Hill is great.
He make me wanna leave the man I’m wit and start a neeeew relationship wit uuuu dis is what u dooo https://t.co/OOiPyP2Z4k
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) October 4, 2017
Even Mark Henry knows technique is gonna take a backseat in this one.
Just when your pumped for FE vs Max for the strap you get an iconic fight ( brawl) same day!! @ealvarezfight vs @justin_gaethje Dec 2 UFC 218. Huge fan of Justin and his fights and team. It’s going to get CRAZY!! @ealvarezfight @frankieedgar LETS GOO!! TEAM @ricardoalmeidabjj @renzograciebjj @nickcatonemma
Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Javier Torres (10-3, 1 NC); Bellator 185, Oct. 20.
Chase Sherman (11-3) vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov (17-4); UFC Shanghai, Nov. 25.
Carlos Condit (33-10) vs. Neil Magny (19-6); UFC 219, Dec. 30.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2003: Mirko Cro Cop head kicked Alberto Del Rio in a legitimate fight at Pride: Bushido 1.
2012: Antonio Silva knocked out Travis Browne on UFC on FX 5. Also, John Dodson knocked out Jussier Formiga to earn a title shot at Demetrious Johnson.
Surprised to see that Holloway-Edgar slightly beat out Gaethje-Alvarez in yesterday’s poll but there’s no wrong way to eat this Reese’s. UFC 218 is going to be outrageous.
Anyway, that’s all folks. Until tomorrow, be easy.
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