In the buildup to and fallout of their two fights, Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson always kept things pretty civil. It’s for this reason that the recent heat between them, which began when Cormier scolded Rumble for his interactions with Jon Jones, came as such a surprise.
“Rumble Johnson and I have always been respectful with each other, but something happened at UFC 214 that has forever made me change the way I’m going to interact with Anthony Johnson,” Cormier said on a recent episode of podcast Talk and Talker. “So, 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 — as much as you’d expect two guys who have competed and ave 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 … like pre-fight stuff.”
“I walk it back a little bit,” Cormier said. “I was wrong. I should not have said anything about being soft. Everybody does not have to view competition like I do, and I think that if [Rumble] wants to be friends with [Jones] and be nice and be cordial, then fine. What does that matter to me”
“I just didn’t like seeing them hugging and stuff,” he continued. “I was like, what’s going on? This is a guy you may fight at some point. I didn’t like when they did that joke at the press conference when they were going to fight each other cause it’s not something I can see myself doing. But everybody doesn’t have to view competition as I do, you know, and I was wrong.”
“It’s just me looking at competition a certain way, and I guess expecting people to do it too? Really it doesn’t have to be that way.”
What did you make of the recent beef between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/9/2017.