Anthony Johnson: UFC should have called me when Hendo got hurt
Stephie Daniels did yet another must read interview for BloodyElbow, this time with Anthony Johnson. Excerpts appear below.
Stephie Daniels: Do you think Jake Rosholt who you fight on the 29th for the XFC promotion has any weapons that you really need to watch out for?
Anthony Johnson: No, because with the guys that I train with (Blackzilians), they make sure I’m ready for everything. I’ve got the best wrestling coach. I’ve got the best jiu jitsu coach. I’ve got the best striking coach. I’ve got the best team in the world. What is there for me to be worried about? That’s not me being cocky, either. It’s me being confident in my ability, my coaches and my team.
Working with Mario Sperry is amazing. He’s not only a great coach, he’s a great motivator. I hate jiu jitsu, but he makes me want to go out there and throw a triangle on somebody. I’m not good at it, but I’ll damned sure try now, because Mario is in my corner. We have Babak at the gym as our wrestling coach, and his wrestling is beyond belief. His wrestling knowledge and techniques are so good. I’m confident that I can overcome any position I could possibly be in for this fight.
SD: If you secure the win over Jake, how many more fights at 205 do you think you’ll need before making a bid to get back into the UFC?
AJ: I think I’m ready now. They should have called me when Dan Henderson got hurt. I would have taken that fight, no problem. I wouldn’t have said no. I’ll fight anybody. It doesn’t matter when or where. They could throw me in with Joe Shmo, and I would fight him. It doesn’t matter to me.
SD: What did you think of the 151 debacle, and more specifically, Jon Jones decision to not fight Chael Sonnen on eight days notice?
AJ: So many guys want to be champions, and they train and pray and damn near die to get in the position that he’s in. When you get to that position, you’re not supposed to say ‘No’ to competition. You’re the champion for a reason. You’re supposed to say, ‘Ok, let’s do it. I accept every challenge there is out there.’ Who cares if it was eight days notice. You’re supposed to be well prepared for everything, no matter what. That showed me that he wasn’t prepared. He wasn’t ready for whatever was going to be thrown at him. I personally think he was a little confused and shaken up by the whole situation, and seeing how Chael has great cardio, and continually moves forward, I think that worried Jon. Chael comes to fight. He doesn’t play around. It is what it is, and only Jon and his trainers really know why they made that decision.