Johnson on Mousasi “Just Too Risky”
Anthony Johnson was supposed to be fighting light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the UFC 206 main event, but Cormier had to pull out with a groin injury. Johnson has chosen to wait for Cormier to heal up instead of taking on a late replacement.
Middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi offered to fight Rumble on short notice, and the UFC was willing to book that fight for an interim title. Johnson turned the fight down, and he explained his reason to Ariel Helwani on the newest episode of The MMA Hour.
"When Gegard was presented to me, it would’ve been a good fight, but it wouldn’t have done anything for me," Johnson said. "Fighting him and becoming the interim champion, as much trash as I’ve talked and ‘DC’ has talked about interim titles being fake champions, if I would have beat him, it wouldn’t mean anything."
"And if I had lost, I would have to start from scratch. It was just too risky."
Johnson, at this point in his career is making the smart business decision. Cormier has what "Rumble" wants, Mousasi posses a threat to Anthony Johnson that is a unnecessary risk. Johnson has fought Cormier before, the game plan would need to change and on short notice with so much on the line for Johnson, one can’t blame him for using his veteran savvy.