It’s not uncommon for fighters to express animosity towards one another through media as a means of promoting a bout or lobbying for an opportunity to face someone a step up divisionally in hopes of helping cement an eventual title-shot. However, in the case of UFC welterweights John Howard and Anthony Johnson the previous motivations seem to be playing a minimal role with genuine dislike actually taking to the forefront in their ongoing war of words.
Johnson recently kicked things off by labeling Howard as a “pussy” in response to the 28-year old’s decision to pass on a match-up with him in early 2010 while citing an interest in building his name up in the Octagon before taking on higher-ranked opponents.
“Doomsday” addressed the situation in a conversation with MMAWeekly, explaining their “beef” had become real based on Johnson’s insults while pointing out the use of the term “cotton picker” as the final straw.
Howard made sure to point out the hypocrisy of “Rumble” insinuating he was a coward for declining the earlier fight given the Georgia native’s performance last weekend against Dan Hardy at Fight Night 24. Johnson had promised to stand with Hardy the entire time before ultimately taking the intelligent approach and capitalizing on the Brit’s takedown defense through the majority of the bout.
“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 motherfu*ker,’ and then when push comes to shove, you take down and you go the (easy) way out. At least, when I fought Thiago (Alves), yes, Thiago beat me, but I stood and banged with a motherfu*ker.”
In summation, Howard made it clear he wants to get his hands on Johnson and doesn’t care if the tilt takes place in the UFC, a gym, backyard, or any specific arena – he just wants to fight.
“I can’t stand that cat. I hate that kid. The feeling is mutual,” said Howard. “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.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC