Anthony Johnson Talks UFC 104 and Beyond

Nate Lawson@NateLawsonCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2009

After his first-round technical knockout victory over Luigi Fiorivantti, Anthony Johnson took some question’s from announcer Joe Rogan. In the post fight interview, one would have a hard time believing the disappointed Johnson had actually won the fight.

“The reason I was disappointed in myself with the Luigi fight is that I was just chasing him around the octagon too much, you know,” explained Johnson. “I’m trained to fight, not chase people around. So that’s why I was saying I was disappointed. I just felt like I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.”

Not only was he disappointed that he could not follow his plan, “Rumble,” a fan favorite for his exhilarating fights, was also unhappy that he “couldn’t give the fans what they wanted”. 

This weekend at UFC 104, Johnson has an opportunity to entertain the fans and continue his roll through the UFC welterweight division.

Johnson’s match up at UFC 104 is Yoshiyuki Yoshida, who was put out cold by Josh Koscheck in his last performance. Yoshida walks into the cage against a true knockout artist in Johnson, who is an enormous and powerful welterweight always looking for the knockout. 

“Like always man, I expect my performance to be the best that it can be and go out there and do my best, and, you know, always give something good for the fans,” states Johnson. “Of course I plan on winning, but I’ll take a win anyway I can. But everybody knows I’m gonna shoot for the knockout.”

While Yoshida has only been knocked out one time in his career, Johnson certainly holds as much power in his punches as Koscheck can claim. However, Johnson thinks if he is to knockout Yoshida, it will be even more vicious than Koscheck’s. 

“I plan on my knockout being more devastating (than Koscheck’s),” explained Johnson.” I think his thing with Koscheck, he was just expecting Koscheck to shoot. Just didn’t think that Koscheck had any hands, which Koscheck does. Koscheck has evolved and he’s a great fighter and now he’s got hands, so he’s more dangerous. But I think my knockout would be way worse than his.”

Yoshida is one of Johnson’s most formidable opponents to date, as “Rumble” continues his rise in the 170 pound division. He is anticipating Yoshida’s plan and is ready for whatever “Zenko” will try to throw his way.

“He’s gonna try and get in on me because he doesn’t want to get hit, and I think he’s afraid to get hit after Josh Koscheck knocked him out,” explained Johnson. “But you never know. He might come with a different game plan, he might not. But no matter what, I will be ready for it because I train with some of the best.”

A convincing victory for Johnson would undoubtedly send the 6’2” monster of a welterweight into the upper echelon of the division. While he is not looking past Yoshida, “Rumble” is confident with whatever his next step may be. 

“I don’t take anybody for granted, but I see myself beating each and every fighter that I face,” he stated. “It’s not just Georges St. Pierre, I see myself being able to beat every fighter.”

A dominant victory over Yoshida at UFC 104 in Los Angeles this Saturday could catapult Johnson into the top ranks of a division that is growing more and more desperate for contenders. “Rumble” realizes this, citing a fellow welterweight prospect as an example. 

“Like Dan Hardy, he’s 3-0 in the octagon and he is already fighting Mike Swick,” he explained. “They could bump me up to anybody or anything, so I just gotta be prepared for whoever’s next.”

Pending the result of his UFC 104 bout, Anthony Johnson could either jump up or fall down in the UFC welterweight division. However, “Rumble” will enter his fight this weekend with the latter possibility not an option, as he looks to move forward, ever closer to a title shot against the dominant Georges St. Pierre.