After his win at UFC Fight Night 24, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson expressed his dislike for John “Doomsday” Howard in what bordered on genuine hatred for another human being. Simply put, Johnson despises Howard, but the only explanation he could give referenced Howard as a part of the female anatomy.
The mystery remained as to why there is such a passionate beef, but MMAWeekly.com caught up with Doomsday to add some clarity to the situation. According to Howard, the source of the problem stems from a proposed fight that never happened.
The two welterweights were set to square off at the inaugural UFC on Versus show in March of 2010. Ultimately, Johnson had to pull out of the fight due to injury, but when the bout was originally offered, Howard had his reservations because he wanted to slowly work his way through the division before jumping into a big match-up.
“He started the beef about a year ago,” Howard explained. “What happened was, (the UFC) offered the fight to me for my second fight in the UFC. And I told them, ‘no, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m still new in the UFC and I still want to be making some money out of it, and don’t want to be fighting some of the top 20 guys already.’ He took it like, oh, I was scared, I’m a (expletive), I’m a (expletive) and all this. And then call me a ‘cotton picker.’
“I got really uptight about that.”
Johnson apparently thought that Howard’s reservations made Doomsday a coward, but it was the use of the term “cotton picker” that fueled Howard’s rage, blanketing him with the feeling of being disrespected in one of the worst ways he can think of.
It’s because of this, Howard now detests “Rumble” Johnson.
“The beef is real,” Howard confirmed. “I can’t stand that cat. I hate that kid. The feeling is mutual.”
Despite pulling out a win this past weekend in Seattle, Johnson has been criticised for not putting more emphasis on his stand-up striking ability, and instead choosing to utilize his wrestling attributes during the fight. One of those critics is Howard.
Apparently, Howard believes Johnson made a point to say he was going to trade shots on the feet with Hardy, but did nothing of the sort during the bout.
“He talks all this (expletive), ‘yo, I’m going to stand and bang,’” he said. “What’d he do? He (expletive) out and took him down. I’m not saying it wasn’t a smart strategy. Maybe it was, but don’t come up like, ‘oh, I’m going to stand and bang. I’m a hardcore mother (expletive).’ And then when push comes to shove, you take down and you go the (expletive) way out.
“At least, when I fought Thiago, yes, Thiago beat me, but I stood and banged with a mother (expletive).”
With so much beef and tension, Howard explains that he would welcome an opportunity to take on Johnson. He would prefer it happens in the Octagon, but made a notion that he would open the doors to his gym in Boston if necessary. It’s a fight that has little to do with making his way up the rankings, and more so to do with hurting Johnson. Win or lose, Howard just wants to make sure he gets his shots in.
“Yeah, I definitely want to shut that dude up, man,” he said. “It’s one of those fights where I don’t care about winning or losing. I just want to smash this dude. I think it’s better to (have it) happen in the UFC before it gets to the streets. That’s how bad it is between me and him. I don’t like this kid.
In addition, Howard feels Johnson’s determination to cut so much weight to fight at 170-pounds stems from wanting to pick on people smaller than him.
“I think he’s a big bully. That’s why he cuts so much weight,” Howard said of Johnson. “That’s why he fights guys five times smaller than him. Unfortunately, with me, I’m not that small. Where I come from, I don’t give a (expletive). The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
Although there are no clear plans in the works for a Johnson-Howard showdown, it’s clear the two would like to fight each other. As days go by, tension will grow and attitudes will show, making the possibility of this match-up stronger and stronger. For now, Howard says he’s lifting weights and staying in shape, but knows that the more Johnson talks, the rougher the situation will become.
“It’s about to get real ugly.”
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