Anthony Johnson pleads not guilty in domestic violence case

Anthony Johnson
Image: @Anthony_Rumble on Instagram

Last week it was reported that two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger, the man known as ‘Rumble,’ Anthony Johnson had been arrested for domestic violence.

MMA Junkie has now confirmed that on Monday, Johnson pleaded not guilty in Florida for his single count of misdemeanor domestic battery where his ex-girlfriend informed authorities that a ‘football hold’ was used by Johnson to pick her up and lead to her being relocated into another room during an argument that they had. The 35-year old retired MMA star did admit to doing this but denied that he was trying to inflict any harm. Police couldn’t find any visible injuries on the woman.

The ex-girlfriend stated that she was kicking Johnson out of the house and packing up his belongings during the argument where she claimed that she “was scared due to his size and martial arts experience” and “upset” but aside from that, unharmed, per police report.

MMA Junkie also happened to speak with Johnson’s attorney, Michael Walsh about the situation who had the following to say.

“Anthony Johnson, if he hits you, your grandkids are going to feel it,” Walsh told said. “He’s trying to deescalate her verbal argument. So he simply picks her up gently and puts her down. He simply did not want to argue anymore and put her in another room. That happens every day in America in domestic relationships… It might be a domestic dispute, but it’s not domestic violence. We’re taking Jerry Springer and turning it into the courtroom.”

The attorney also shared that in the initial court appearance that judge Debra Moses Stephens ordered for less severe levels of no-contact rather than one that entirely restricts any sort of contact. Rumble also happens to already be under an active restraining order that expires on February 6, 2020, where he was accused of online stalking, making threats and posting intimate images of the woman involved, according to Walsh.

For the 22-6 Johnson, he has been retired from MMA since April 8, 2017, when he suffered his second career defeat to Daniel Cormier in his second career UFC title shot. Having gotten into the marijuana and bodybuilding industries in life after fighting, Johnson currently finds himself in a fighter relations role for the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/15/2019