Anthony Johnson says UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier is his own biggest cheerleader.
The dominant No. 1-ranked slugger offered that opinionahead of his main event title bout against ‘DC’ this weekend (Sat. April 8, 2017). The pair will rematch with the coveted 205-pound title on the line once again in the main event of UFC 210 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
Cormier threw a few verbal shots his challenger’s way during the UFC 210 media conference call last week, calling the knockout artist out for not capitalizing on the opportunity to beat him during their initial meeting at UFC 187 back in May of 2015. The then-vacant title was on the line after division kingpin Jon Jones was forced to drop the strap due to issues out-of-competition, and Cormier would become the new division’s king after securing a third round submission over ‘Rumble.’
During a recent interview with FOX Sports, Johnson got the opportunity to respond to Cormier’s recent trash talk where he said ‘Rumble’ was only dangerous for the first ‘seven minutes,’ calling the former Olympian ‘his own biggest cheerleader’:
“DC will always talk. I just found out he just talks. I kind of figured it out. He talks just to hear himself talk,” Johnson said. “I know he wants to be that guy that’s a big time promoter and all this other stuff, but I think he’s his own biggest cheerleader and his worst promoter for sure.
“People don’t believe half the [expletive] he says.”
Johnson also offered his two cents in regards to Cormier’s latest Octagon performances against Alexander Gustafsson and Anderson Silva. Despite putting on a great performance against Gustafsson in their UFC 192 main event title bout, ‘Rumble’ feels like the Swede should’ve walked out of Houston as champ:
“He fought how DC fights,” Johnson said. “His usual grinding that’s just what he does. He’ll land a couple punches and then try to take you down and try to beat you up on the ground and wear you out. That’s usually how he does it.
“With [Gustafsson], that was an extremely close fight. I thought Gus won honestly. This is the second time I thought Gus won the title so maybe my judgment is kind of off.”
‘Rumble’ also threw shots at Cormier for his performance against Anderson Silva at UFC 200 this past Summer, who didn’t have any training for the bout coming in on just two day’s notice:
“The thing with Anderson [Silva], I thought DC fought safe to a degree. He fought safe but then he came up looking like [expletive],” Johnson said. “It wasn’t his best performance. But like he said, that was the easiest fight of his career so if that was the easiest fight of your career then all right then.
“If that’s what you look like in the easiest fight of your career then you’re definitely going to have a hard time with me.”
Regardless of Cormier’s past performances, Johnson is fully ready to capitalize on his opportunity to sit atop the 205-pound division throne, and he’s prepared to go out on his shield to do so:
“It comes to a point where you get tired of talking. I’m not DC. I don’t want to do all this talking to make myself look like Billy Bad Ass. I go in and I fight and I do my best, win or lose,” Johnson said. “That’s just what it is with me. I don’t go in there half-assing. Either I’m going out on my shield or you’re going out on your shield. That’s just what it is.
“I go out there and fight. I see an opening, I take it. You make a mistake, I take it.”