I’m trying to fight in March. I’m trying to fight punk ass John Howard, but I don’t think he wants to fight. He got his win over Dennis Hallman. He got the credit to fight me, so why don’t he do it? He signed the contract once to fight me and then he backed out and now he’s renegotiating, or his managers and agents are, whatever, are being dumb about the renegotiating process. Just come on and sign the fight. Sign the contract and fight me and stop running like a little bitch. I want to fight him. I really do. I seen this interview where he said he was going to make me pay for what I said, so I’m looking forward to seeing that. John Howard, put your dukes up. Let’s do this and I’m going to knock your other tooth out because I know you got a fucked up grill. I’m going to give him the business.” – Anthony Johnson
UFC welterweight Anthony Johnson talks about his rivalry with fellow welterweight John Howard, and how he really wants to fight Howard, possibly in March. The feud started after Howard elected not to sign the bout agreement to face Johnson for their proposed bout at June’s TUF 9 finale. Howard claimed that his management made the final decision, however, Johnson saw it different, calling him a “coward” and saying that Howard backed out and did not want to fight him to begin with.
Howard then responded to Johnson’s claims.
“I don’t appreciate him calling me a coward or anything like that. He has to understand that the decisions that are made for me are smart decisions. My job is to fight. I don’t make decisions about who to fight or when I’m going to fight, and I don’t pull out of fights… Anthony Johnson has been in the UFC a little longer than me, and it’s not because I’m a coward. It just wasn’t time… I want to fight him, and the first chance I get the ‘okay’ to fight him, I will. And he’s going to eat his words – definitely. It’s personal. He’s going to regret ever questioning me.” – John Howard
The feud between Howard and Johnson is becoming one of the UFC’s most heated rivalries, and if the fight gets booked expect some testy moments between the two during pre-fight activities such as at the weigh-ins.
Johnson is coming off of a loss against Josh Koscheck at UFC 106 last month. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak he had put together, which included previous Octagon wins over Kevin Burns, Luigi Fioravanti and Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Johnson has put together a 5-3 record in eight fights in the UFC, with all five of his Octagon wins coming via stoppage.
Meanwhile, Howard scored a dramatic come-from-behind third-round knockout win over veteran Dennis Hallman at TUF 10. The win moved Howard to a perfect 3-0 with the UFC, with wins in his first two UFC bouts against Chris Wilson and Tamdan McCrory.