Anthony "Rumble" Johnson had to work his way back to a UFC title shot, and left a trail of light heavyweight bodies along the way.
At this week's UFC 210 media day. Johnson cited his personal and professional problems with weight and domestic abuse allegations, saying that the uphill battle makes his upcoming fight with Daniel Cormier even more important to him.
“It would mean the world. I've been through a lot, inside the Octagon and outside the Octagon. My life isn't, like, a secret. The things that you guys have seen, there's a lot that you have seen and a lot that you haven't seen. Winning the title, it would just be icing on the cake, man. Honestly, it leaves me speechless. I did an interview earlier and they asked me the same question and I started getting teary-eyed, know what I mean? It's that important to me. Like I really want to win this. I want to say that I deserve it because I do feel I deserve it. But it won't be easy. Whenever I do get it, it'll be, I don't know if I'll cry, I don't know if I'll laugh, I don't know if I'll scream, I don't know if I'm gonna jump up and down, I don't know if I'm gonna do like Snoop Dogg said, do a break dance and all this other stuff. I don't know what I'll do. I'll just be happy and I'll be so proud of myself for never giving up. A lot of fighters have the opportunity and then they miss the opportunity, and then they don't get that extra opportunity, that second opportunity. And I have had that second opportunity, right now, again. I've been in the UFC twice. This is my second title shot. So, I have to make the best of it, no matter what.” Johnson told Fightful.com
Johnson's amazing knockout power puts him in range of winning any fight he competes in at any time. Despite what some would call a "flawless victory," against Glover Teixiera, Johnson says a perfect fight may just be a myth.
"I mean, no fighter has a perfect fight so I think it's kind of crazy to say, you know? If I fight the perfect fight, think about what could happen. If he fights the perfect fight, think about what could happen. So it's like, clash of styles right there. If you're trying to fight the perfect fight, it'll be a boring fight, you know what I mean? It's just a fight that's gonna be a battle of who wants it the most. Of course, who makes the least amount of mistakes. So, I'm definitely gonna go out there and try not to make any mistakes. I'm gonna go out there and just do my best. Everybody saw the first fight. Did I make mistakes? Yeah, but do I regret those mistakes? No, because they made me into a better fighter. They made me into who I am right now. You see everybody who's got in front of me has hit the ground. I was so pissed at myself at making those mistakes whenever I fought for the title that I took it out on everybody else. Now I get to take another opportunity. I'm gonna do what I've gotta do, man," said Johnson. "A win. Just a win. It's not about knocking out, it's not about submissions, it's just about getting a win.”
UFC 210 takes place Saturday, April 8 from Buffalo, New York.