UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier and the retired Anthony Johnson have clashed twice before, with Cormier picking up the win in both encounters.
DC recently took some shots at Johnson when the fighter announced a potential return to MMA and now the light heavyweight champion is apologizing to his former opponent.
“After Rumble put that post up, I tweeted him,” Cormier told MMA Junkie Radio. “But then I texted him. Because I was mad. Like, ‘I’m mad. I want to fight.’ The reality is, I texted him, and I said some things that weren’t very cool. But then I was talking to somebody that means a lot to me and they said, ‘Why are you so mad? You started it. You said stuff. And you’re mad at him.’ So the reality is, I was wrong. I should not have called him soft. But I thought that I didn’t like the action, but why do I expect so much out of him? Why do I expect him to not be able to be respectful and still compete at the highest level of the sport? So I walk it back a little bit. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have said anything about him being soft. Everybody does not have to view competition like I do. And I think that’s why – if he wants to be friends with (Jones) and be nice and cordial, then fine. What does that matter to me?”
If Johnson does make that potential return to action, then it would be coming in the heavyweight division.
Cormier also credits his wife and Johnson’s manager for helping him see that he handled the whole situation in the wrong way.
“I was wrong,” Cormier said. “It took me talking to Ali Abdelaziz (Johnson’s manager) of all people. Ali was like, ‘You guys are like – what the hell?’ He was right. But I talked to somebody last night. And my wife, she goes, ‘I get it. You’re a man. You’re from Louisiana. You don’t like to be disrespected. So when you feel a challenge, you go at it head-on.’ But she goes, ‘You were wrong. You didn’t have to say that about him in the first place. What was the point? You won both fights.’ But, again, it’s just me looking at competition a certain way. And I guess just expecting people to do it too. And it really doesn’t have to be that way.”
While Johnson’s status is still up in the air at the moment, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion is awaiting to see who faces him next for the gold.