Anthony Johnson (left) | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Hardy was knocked out in his last fight, but upcoming opponent
Johnson remains complimentary of the Brit’s standup game.
“He’s a great striker,” Johnson said recently on the
Sherdog Radio Network. “He just made that one technical mistake
Condit, and Carlos capitalized on it and got the better end of
the deal. Just because he got knocked out doesn’t make him a bad
fighter. He’s still an amazing fighter. I still love watching the
Hardy and Condit fired left hooks on each other simultaneously.
Condit’s was tighter and landed first, ending the UFC 120 matchup
4:27 into the first round.
The defeat was Hardy’s second in a row after losing a five-round
decision to welterweight champion Georges
St. Pierre at UFC 111. In that matchup, Hardy showed his
toughness but was also unable to stay on his feet. Johnson may also
look to take him down when they meet March 26 at UFC Fight
“If I want to take it to the ground, I know I can,” Johnson said.
“I can wrestle. I’m not saying that he can’t, but I think my
wrestling is better. It’s more solid.”
Johnson also isn’t saying that he won’t trade with Hardy on the
“Both of our striking [games] are solid of course,” he said. “We’ll
see. I think it’s going to be a great fight.”
The 26-year-old Johnson is also coming off a defeat. In his most
recent fight, Josh
Koscheck submitted him with a rear-naked choke in November
2009. Johnson spent 2010 recovering from a torn meniscus. He
doesn’t believe Hardy has experience fighting anyone like him.
“Not at all,” Johnson said. “I don’t think anybody in the UFC
matches my style of fighting.”
Johnson had tied together three straight impressive finishes before
losing to Koscheck. With a win over a former title challenger, he
could move back into the mix of contenders at 170 pounds. He said
the title is not on his mind right now, however.
“I just want to keep fighting and keep improving,” Johnson
explained. “Like I said, I’ll make a statement whenever I’m a
champ. That’s when I’ll know I deserve to be there. Not having one
or two fights and automatically getting a title shot. I don’t want
to take that road.”
Listen to the
full interview (beginning at 2:08:22) with Johnson, who also
discussed his six dogs.Reader comments are active below. Chime in with an opinion or
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