clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Anthony Johnson: Cormier hasn't earned right to take time off

#1 ranked light-heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson doesn't think Cormier should be taking time off from the sport before facing Jon Jones.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a hectic year for light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. The former Olympian lost to Jon Jones in January but rebounded with an authoriative victory over Anthony Johnson at UFC 187.

"DC" claimed the vacant 205 lbs. title with his rear-naked submission of "Rumble", as Jones was stripped of the belt and suspeded indefinetely following a car collision in April.

Cormier secured his first title-defense after edging out Alexander Gustafsson on the scorecards in October. After his pulsating back-and-forth encounter with "The Mauler", AKA's leading fighter announced that he was taking a break from the sport. "I want to take a break, and I think I've earned it," Cormier said last month.

Anthony Johnson doesn't think so. The former title-challenger spoke to MMAJunkie on Thursday.

"I don't know why he would say he wants six months off; maybe he wants time to heal, spend more time with his family and train more and just perfect his craft - I don't know," Johnson said. "Do I see it as being selfish? No. But I want to say this: I don't feel like he's earned it enough to say, ‘I need six months off.' If Jon was still the champ after like two years of whooping ass and said, ‘Dude, I need six or eight months off.' You deserve those six to eight months off because you put in the time and the work."

It's expected that Cormier will rematch "Bones" after the former pound for pound #1 was declared fit to travel for work-related purposes after pleading guilty to hit-and-run in September. DC wants to avenge his loss to Jones, but on his own terms. Earlier this month, Cormier said that he will not fight the former champ in his hometown of New York.

Johnson believes Cormier should get back to grinding in the gym instead of making demands.

"I think he should keep grinding. In my opinion that's what Daniel does. He should just keep grinding before it gets too late because there's a lot of hungry guys coming up. It's just a matter of time before his body is going to say, ‘No more.' He needs to stay active."

Anthony Johnson will headline the UFC on FOX 18 event against Ryan Bader on January 30th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow