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Kevin Burns Wants Another Shot at Anthony Johnson

(‘I’m just saying, the guy has two eyes. Why wouldn’t I want a rematch?’)

Kevin “Pokey” Burns feels bad about his victory via sticking his fingers in Anthony Johnson‘s eyes back in July. Anthony Johnson also feels bad about it, which is why he appealed the decision in a losing effort. But now Burns says he wants a rematch with Johnson in order to “make it right”:

“I guess what’s really going to be the true-tell sign at the end of the day is when we meet in the cage again, and we have a chance to compete against each other. Then the fans will get to see what they wanted to see, and we’ll get to make it right.”

“I hated more the way the fight ended than probably Anthony did,” Burns said. “It didn’t really come up to par. I’m not that kind of competitor. I would have rather been knocked out, personally, than to win like that.”

While you have to appreciate the old Don Frye ‘let’s do it again, brother’ sentiment, I’m not so sure that Burns really hated it more than Johnson did. Johnson, let’s not forget, had to have eye surgery to repair a detached retina as a result of the debacle. He also still has the loss on his record.

Burns says he’s been taking some heat from fans for the win and wants to clear the air about some of the rumors that have been flying about him:

“I think there was some misconception from that night,” Burns said. “My hand, I could make a closed fist. I just didn’t have the ability to hit with it because the bone wasn’t fused completely. It was to a point where I could grab just fine. I could do a lot. I could probably hit something with a close fist. But pretty much the second I hit something remotely solid, it was going to be really, really broken again.

“It was just a thing where [the bones] wouldn’t fuse. I had been wearing a bone stimulator, and my doctor said, ‘If you can not have that impact, then you should be good to go.’ So I completely adjusted my game and started throwing palm strikes — which is an extreme disadvantage. I did what I had to do competing-wise.”

“I read a couple of the blogs online,” Burns admitted. “I kind of laughed to myself. They were like, ‘It’s an extreme advantage that he was able to palm strike.’ I’m like, ‘Then why isn’t everybody doing it?’”

I wouldn’t call Burns’ palm strikes an advantage, but I would call his open-hand poking style a definite disadvantage to his opponent. That’s not even the point, though. The point is, if my doctor told me that I should under no circumstances punch a solid object really hard with my fist, I’d probably think to myself, ‘Well, there goes fighting professionally for a little while.’

We all know that the UFC’s lower-tier guys have to get in where they fit in, injuries or no, but being completely unable to punch with a closed fist is not like a sprained ankle.

Burns says the bones in his hand are now fused and he can start punching people properly now, which is good news all around. Hopefully the UFC makes this rematch happen soon so we can see what an infuriated “Rumble” Johnson is capable of when he doesn’t have someone’s fingers all up in his eyes.

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- December 13, 2008 at 11:44 pm
Well in the first place , if you can not throw a close fisted punch ,(excuse being having a hand injury (which is a good excuse) then either do not fight , but if you do fight and poke someones eye then , you shoud lose the match under a illegal move ruling , just as any other illegal move.

Second Rumble Johnson did'nt need to smell burns B.O. , but burns did smell johnson's foot on the way down to the canvas.
Apexified- September 20, 2008 at 12:57 pm
It seemed like from the ref's angle of the fight it might have looked like Johnson got hit and then fell to the ground flopping around. And if the past is any indication they always decide the outcome of the fight based on what the ref sees and not on the all seeing eyes of the cameras... It should have been easy to reverse the decision after watching the tapes though, or even better to watch the replays right after and make the right call.
Derekrva- September 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm
What? At best that fight was even, but in reality what made this such a bad situation was the fact that Johnson was widely acknowledged to be ahead when Burns put his finger in his brain and then he got chucked with the loss. I was in a room with about 7 other fight fans and we all agreed that Rumble was robbed (even those of us with money on Burns).

Props to Burns for wanting a rematch, but you can't erase history. They should fight again, but can't blame Rumble if he doesn't want to immediately fight the guy whose "palm strikes" almost cost him his career. I mean its not like if Burns breaks his hand during the fight he isn't gonna try palm strikes again.
Anonymous- September 19, 2008 at 1:17 am
anthony johnson was winning that fight whoever thinks he was getting dominated needs to rewatch the fight .kevin burns was doing a good job nuetrilizing johnsons power but he was getting taken down at will and he wasnt landing any effective legal strikes
Rampage- September 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm
VV, you're crazy. Maybe if the ref had deducted points for the eye-pokages Anthony Johnson would have been winning, but he didn't take away any points that I can remember.

Why would the fight have gone to the scorecards? When has it *ever* gone to the scorecards after what should have been a DQ loss? Sure the fight wasn't exactly conventional, but going to the cards is pretty silly.
VV- September 18, 2008 at 7:24 pm
Anthony Johnson was winning that fight in the scorecards for sure, I just searched up and watched that fight. He was more explosive, landed more clean shots and OH, didnt poke the shit out Of Burns's Face. I dont know how you idiots manage to breathe. The fight shouldve just went to scorecards after the eye incident. That way I wouldnt of had to type this bullshit. The UFC handled this situation very badly, and unproffesionally.
Immak wants an edit buttonn- September 18, 2008 at 7:24 pm
(Wish there was an edit - perhaps it could be worked into a future upgrade? Or do you need an account system for that? Either way, great upgrades recently guys - things are working great now!)

There's meant to be a " ;) " after my last sentence, BTW - just to verify that it was a joking statement.

Oh, and Lee - that would be headline comedy gold.
Immak- September 18, 2008 at 7:17 pm
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Judge. I was so annoyed at the time of the fight because, simply put, he was winning the fight. It was his own fault that he was about to lose via DQ, then the announcement was made that he won by TKO.

The thing is, I can only imagine that Burns was just as shocked as anyone else. Now he's on the right path to redemption as it were, and doing everything in his power to make things right. It's that sole reason that I'm annoyed with all the Burns-bashing.

@GP - Go back and watch the fight. If you don't think he was absolutely dominating Anthony Johnson, then you must be a relative of Cecil Peoples. If Johnson denies him the chance at another fight, so be it, but that doesn't mean that Burns isn't trying to make things as right as he can.

I have no problem with the bitching or reverse-nuthugging (nut-slapping? Don't want to think too much about that) that Burns is the recipient of on here weekly, but I just hate to see it for idiotic reasons, especially when the original piece was about him trying to make things right.

Oh, and it's "self-righteous", nuthugger.
Lee- September 18, 2008 at 7:15 pm
more like "kevin burns wants another poke at anthony johnson"
Netterbog- September 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm
I have a bone stimulator too...but my mom told me if I used it too much I'd go blind.
Geriatric Peon- September 18, 2008 at 5:42 pm
He wasn't "kicking the living shit out of rumble" unless you consider the 3 or 4 consecutive pokes to be kicking the shit out of him. I also never said that he wouldn't win a second fight but after how the last one went would you risk your entire career (which is what happens if you lose an eye) over a rematch with that guy? I am just saying that I wouldn't take the rematch with the obvious risk of that guys style of "palm strikes"

I am not on Johnson's nuts and giving an opinion doesn't automatically qualify as bitching so Immak you can shove that righteous attitude right up your own ass.
TheJudge- September 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm
Immak, perhaps so but the fact remains that he did not make adjustments after being warned and it does make sense to think that he had an advantage because he was poking his eye.

I don't get the tenor of your post, you seem to acknowledge the mistake but then rip us for ripping him. Dude did the deed and you and he must live with it. I agree that he's being pretty cool offering a rematch but in my eyes he should not allow the win on his record.
Immak- September 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm
You guys seem to forget one key factor in the whole thing: Kevin Burns was kicking the living shit out of Rumble. He outclassed him in standup, and he's a friggin' jits fighter.

I'm not saying that what he didn't was wrong, or that he shouldn't have gotten a NC or even a DQ loss, but now he's trying to make amends for his fuck ups and you're still bitching about it. What can he possibly do right to "win you over" at this point?

When he locks Anthony Johnson in an arm triangle and wins the next match, what will you do? Blame the win on his body odor?

Grow the fuck up and get off of Johnson's nuts- Burns screwed up, and is trying to make things better. He had no more control over the decision as Johnson did.
Geriatric Peon- September 18, 2008 at 5:09 pm
If it was my choice (admittedly I don't have balls as big as Rumble) I would give him the finger (middle one at distance) and walk away from another fight. If his excuse was sloppy palm strikes last time it will probably be attempted clinches resulting in eye gouging the next time.
Dr.- September 18, 2008 at 4:42 pm
It wouldn't have been a problem if in fact Burns was actually throwing palm strikes and not leading and finishing with his fingers. I laugh that he considers what he was doing palm strikes. You're still a piece of shit for not making an adjustment after being warned and having Johnson get poked more than once before the big one. Pretty high disregard for Johnson. As a professional you should know better. The dude had to have surgery on his fucking eyeball to repair it from the foul.