If you like to watch dudes “stand and bang” until someone drops, you’ll want to tune in for UFC Fight Night 24 this Saturday night. The rematch of last year’s epic slugfest between Leonard Garcia and The Korean Zombie kicks off the card, and later that evening Anthony Johnson returns to action against Dan Hardy. Both Johnson and Hardy made it a point on yesterday’s conference call to let everyone know that they plan to steal the show and duke it out until someone drops.
Hardy: I’m not planning on going to the ground with Anthony. I’m planning on sending him down on his own.
Johnson: Hell no. This fight ain’t going to the ground. Man, you’re talking to two guys that love to bang, plain and simple. We don’t like that lovey dovey stuff. You know what I’m saying? We wanted it keeping on your feet, give everybody what they want, what they paid their money for. And in my opinion, that’s why we should be the main event instead of the Coleman event because we are the guys who are going to keep the crowd on their feet and giving them what they want, and that’s standin’ and bangin’. And that’s what we do best and that’s we love doing and that’s what the fans love to see. So you’re not getting that from me – hell no.
It’s anyone guess who’s going to land the kill shot in that fight, but perhaps the bigger question is whether or not Anthony Johnson is going to make weight. He’s missed it in the past and has known to blow all the way up to 220 lbs. when he’s not in active training. Johnson wouldn’t tell reporters on the call how much he weighs at the moment, but he expects to be around 185 when he steps in the cage with Hardy.
If you ask Hardy what he thinks about Johnson’s weight issues though, he’ll tell you straight up that he doesn’t give a crap if Johnson makes weight on Saturday night. That’s what he told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour and added that he actually hopes he does because he’ll feel bad if he has to take a percentage of Johnson’s purse.
“I have no concern at all. It makes no difference to me. You can come in at whatever weight you want. I’ve spent the last seven weeks dedicated to fighting him, so it makes no difference to me what weight he comes in at. If he is heavy it just means he’s got more chin for me to hit. It might work out better.”
“I don’t want a percentage of his purse if he misses weight, because taking a percentage of his purse and the win bonus, I might feel a bit guilty after the fight when I’m seeing him at events and stuff,” Hardy said. “I at least want him to take home his purse so I know he’s getting paid for the fight, because obviously I’m planning on the win bonus.”
“Regardless of what happens [at the weigh-ins], it’s not my concern what weight he comes in at – it’s his concern. If he comes in overweight, he’s going to lose respect from the fans, he’s going to lose respect from the UFC, so it makes no difference to me. For his sake, he needs to make weight. But for my sake, he can come in at whatever weight he likes.”
Hardy may not care, but Dana White and the rest of the UFC will. If I remember correctly, Dana was pretty upset the last time Johnson came in heavy and threatened to send him to middleweight. If he misses weight again, don’t be surprised if Dana makes good on his promise and puts Johnson in weight class he probably belongs in.