WATCH: Anthony Johnson’s Angry Corner Men React to His Performance at UFC 210
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s shock decision to retire after his loss to UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel “DC” Cormier at UFC 210 has left mixed martial arts fans reeling, but apparently, the fans weren’t the only ones shocked by Johnson’s performance on the weekend. Audio from Johnson’s corner has been released, painting a picture of the frustration his team felt while watching him fight.
Johnson’s cornermen screamed and pleaded with him constantly to stop wrestling against Cormier, an Olympic level wrestler who had previously used his ground game to defeat Johnson. Veteran striking coach Henri Hooft could be heard yelling “This is stupid” at ringside, and was unable to get Johnson to explain why he was attempting to wrestle with Cormier when his striking had almost ended their first fight back at UFC 187 in May of 2015.
“Can you tell me why you’re wrestling? Now, you’re not going to wrestle,” said an exasperated Hooft between rounds. “You take your distance. Stay away, two steps away. Why are you so worried about everything? The kicks and the knees are really good, but no kicks. Where’s your hands?”
Johnson was eventually wrestled to the ground in the second round of the title fight and submitted to “DC” for the second time. Cormier had caught him with a rear-naked choke, the same choke he had defeated Johnson with in their first fight after he had landed some hard shots.
“Why, why the f*ck does this happen every f*cking time, man?” yelled Hooft as Johnson tapped out.
Hooft and Johnson’s other corner men were nowhere to be seen after the fight. Johnson requested Hooft and his team to come to the cage before he announced his retirement, but they were unable to be found, fueling the rumors that the team was upset with the way Johnson had fought and that they did not think he gave the fight his full commitment.
“I gave my commitment to another job,” Johnson said in his post fight interview. “Something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s not MMA related or anything like that. It’s just time for me to move on to something else. I’m tired of getting punched by guys and rolling around on the ground with guys.”
Check out the video below to hear Johnson’s corner audio and let us know what you think: