"John Howard is tough. He's not a pushover. I don't think I'm going to go in there and run over the guy. I'm going to go out there and fight him and it's going to be a good fight. He knows how bad I have wanted to fight him and I'm sure he is training his ass off for me because he knows I'm going to bring it. I expect a good fight. It's like I said on my Facebook, his time has run out and now he's about to be snaggletooth when I get done with him
I heard he called me 'Crumble.' He says I crumble when I get pressured and stuff, but ain't nobody made me crumble yet. I had one mental breakdown and that was when Koscheck pulled his little stunt, but other than that, I ain't broke down in no fight. I go out there and fight with everything I got and everybody knows that, so as far as me crumbling, it ain't going to happen," stated UFC welterweight Anthony Johnson as he talked about his upcoming grudge match with Jon Howard. Check it out!
PC: How is everything going AJ?
AJ: Everything is cool. I can't complain.
PC: You got the word that March 21st will be the day you fight John Howard, which is the fight you have been wanting. How are you feeling now that it's a done deal?
AJ: I'm loving it. John Howard isn't a bad fighter. I ain't got nothing against him personally; in a way, I don't. I try not to take it personally, but after he signed that contract and then backed out, I was just like, "Why sign it if you didn't want the fight?" But now, after he done got a couple of wins, I guess he is ready to step up to the plate and fight me, so it's on now.
PC: What do you think of his fighting style and how will it match up with your style?
AJ: His style don't match up with me good at all. He's fought some tough guys and I give him credit, but he ain't fought me or nobody with my style. If he thinks that his counterkicks and his counterpunches from his I don't know if he still does it now, but it's not going to work and that bootleg wrestling of his is not going to work. He has another thing coming if he thinks it is. He ain't no Koscheck or anything close as far as his takedowns and stuff. He ain't as powerful as Koscheck and if he's not going to take me down, he's going to have a bad night. He ain't going to stand and bang with me; he ain't going to catch me like he caught Dennis Hallman, I can tell you that.
PC: He said the timing wasn't right the first time, but he's ready to shut your mouth up now. I am definitely pumped for this one and I can't wait to see it.
AJ: I'm waiting to see it too!
PC: What was your reaction when you got the call saying that John Howard was going to be your opponent for March?
AJ: I screamed, "Fuck yeah!" That was the first thing I said. But like I said, John Howard is tough. He's not a pushover. I don't think I'm going to go in there and run over the guy. I'm going to go out there and fight him and it's going to be a good fight. He knows how bad I have wanted to fight him and I'm sure he is training his ass off for me because he knows I'm going to bring it. I expect a good fight. It's like I said on my Facebook, his time has run out and now he's about to be snaggletooth when I get done with him.
PC: How do you prevent getting too emotionally wrapped into this fight?
AJ: Oh no, I just know how to get a fight pumped up. I'm never too emotional for any fight. When I fight, I fight with everything that I got. I don't go out there and fight with emotion because that's how you lose your composure and all of that other stuff. That's damn near what happened in the Koscheck fight. I let my emotions get to me and I let that distract me when he said that I poked him in the eye and I kneed him. But to me, that was just a learning experience. It happened to me once and I'm not going to let it happen again. This fight right here I mean, I'm almost at a loss for words as to what I think this fight is going to be like. I heard he called me "Crumble." He says I crumble when I get pressured and stuff, but ain't nobody made me crumble yet. I had one mental breakdown and that was when Koscheck pulled his little stunt, but other than that, I ain't broke down in no fight. I go out there and fight with everything I got and everybody knows that, so as far as me crumbling, it ain't going to happen. Someone has to really get into my head, and that's happened once and will never happen again. I ain't running from Howard; I'm coming forward. I see a lot of people say why step down a level where Howard's at, but Howard is an up-and-comer and I have already somewhat established a name in mixed martial arts myself. A lot of people say I should be fighting top 10 guys, but you know what man? Anybody on any day can get beat, top 10 or not. It doesn't matter man, a fight is a fight. It is what it is.
PC: We have seen fighters not fair so well in the thin air of Colorado. That's where this fight will take place. How do you plan on adjusting and making sure that doesn't happen to you?
AJ: I'm going to do the same thing I did with Tommy Spears. I'm going to go out there early. Some people go out a week before, but I'm going to go out there 3 or 4 weeks before the fight to make sure I'm cool. I don't want to be going out there and gassing in 5 minutes. That doesn't look good at all. I'm going to go out there in shape and plus, we have these high-altitude machines here in my gym, so I will be training on them and there are certain workouts you can do and hold your breath and all of that type of stuff to help you get ready for that thin air. It gets your heart pumping a certain type of way, so I'm already preparing for that. I just got through doing that in my gym, so I'm working. I'm not taking the guy lightly at all.
PC: Were you in the gym anyway or did you get in there once you knew you had an opponent and it was a done deal?
AJ: Once I heard it, the next day, I was in the gym working out; which was like 2 days ago. But I'm already starting to run and eat healthier and stuff like that.
PC: A lot of fighters say they can see the fight played out in their minds. How do you see this fight playing out?
AJ: I honestly don't see this fight right now. I think it's going to be a battle. I plan on winning of course, if that's what you're asking (laughing), but I can't say how. But somebody is going to leave bloody before the end of the night, either me or him. One of us is going to get sliced open.
PC: We will get a lot more with you leading up to this fight. Is there anything you want to close off with for this interview?
AJ: I want to thank everybody for supporting me. I lost my last fight, but everybody knows when I lose, I come back stronger. This is 2010. I ended 2009 off with a loss, but I will start 2010 off with a bang. So just keep your eyes open for me. I want to thank you Percy for hitting me up man, TapouT, Knoxx Gear, BSN, my agents Ken Pavia and MMA Agents, the UFC and the fans; just everybody bro. I'm happy. I also gotta thank my man Eddie Lor at www.xtremebullypitbulls.com. Everybody that is supporting me and really sticking by me, I appreciate you and I love you.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]