(Rumble celebrates his ferocious Speer-ownage at UFC Fight Night 13 last April. Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)
From a recent Around the Octagon interview with Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, via MMABay:
"I’ll fight anybody the UFC puts in front of me but I’d like to fight Matt Hughes
one day. People say his level of fighting is better than mine because he has a lot of experience. I don’t care. He’s a dick. Hopeufully I’ll get a chance to knock him out like Thiago Alves
When I fought Tommy [Speer] he was weird. Me and my friends were walking out of the locker room and he walked by. I said what’s up to him and nodded my head and he kept walking like I was invisible. I thought ok, you’re like that. I’m friendly. You only have one life to live. But if he’s like that I know why Matt Serra
wants to beat his ass…
He wants to retire but he doesn’t need to retire until I beat his ass. After Matt Serra beats him give him to me and I’ll retire him. The HIT squad is great. Everything he does is great but I want to fight him because of that incident. Maybe he didn’t see me but I saw him look right at me. You want to be like that I’ll give you a reason not to want to look at me."
One way to make a name for yourself in this sport is to destroy a fading legend, and Hughes is looking mighty vulnerable right now. If Hughes loses to Serra in May, his only options are retirement or trying to score a win against an up-and-comer like Johnson. The problem is, Johnson would be about two steps faster than the former welterweight champ, and would likely murder Hughes if he could keep the fight standing.
If he wants to continue calling people out, Rumble will first have to take care of Luigi Fioravanti at UFC Fight Night 17 (February 7th, Tampa). He should also keep this sage advice in mind: "Battle not with dicks lest you become one."