Earlier this week, it was revealed by manager Ali Abdelaziz that Anthony Johnson was looking to end his extremely brief retirement and return to the UFC. Should we see “Rumble” back in the Octagon, it’ll supposedly be at heavyweight, having twice failed to defeat Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight title.
On his Talk and Talker podcast, Cormier ripped into Johnson’s behavior on the eve of UFC 214, with DC gearing up for his highly-anticipated rematch with Jon Jones. Evidently, Johnson’s all-too-friendly behavior with Cormier’s biggest rival did not sit well with him at all.
Via MMA Fighting:
“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?”
If you remember the brawl between Jones and Cormier before UFC 182, Jones and Johnson staged a fake brawl before their (eventually cancelled) UFC 187 matchup. Cormier was critical of Johnson’s role in that prank, so whatever happened at UFC 214 was the final straw.
“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.”
While Johnson’s future looks to be at heavyweight, Cormier was recently reinstated as light heavyweight champ after Jon Jones (again) failed a drug test. Cormier’s next title defense hasn’t been booked, but Volkan Oezdemir appears to be the leading choice.