Wherever UFC Light Heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson goes, controversy seems to follow.
Just a week ago, UFC reinstated “Rumble” Johnson following an “inconclusive investigation” into multiple domestic violence claims made against him, which subsequently made him eligible to compete as scheduled at this Saturday’s UFC 191 pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If the domestic abuse incident wasn’t enough, last month, “Rumble” found himself in another controversial situation, as the former UFC title contender took to Instagram to complain — and basically threaten — an “ugly girl” that he had a physical altercation with at a gym.
The latest controversy surrounding Johnson now involves animal abuse.
An online petition surfaced this week, which was actually created four months ago, accusing Johnson of abusing dogs and asking the UFC to release him as a result of the alleged cruel behavior.
At the UFC 191 media day on Thursday, “Rumble” Johnson finally addressed the latest accusations being made against him, claiming that he does not abuse animals, but does admit to the practice of cropping his dogs ears.
“My dogs are well liked and well loved,” Johnson said. “I take my dogs everywhere. Somebody put I’m manipulating my dogs. Dude, I cropped his ears. I’m not beating the dog, I’m not starving the dog to death. Nothing like that. I definitely laugh at things like that, because everybody that knows me — even if you don’t know me and look at my Instagram, look at my Facebook and stuff — you can tell I love my dogs.”
Johnson continued, “I’m not what the media tries to make me out to be, but I am who I am. That whole kennel thing, that’s not even my dog and people want to make it sound like it’s my dog. But I do crop my dog’s ears. At the same time, they want to talk about dogs with cropped ears, they need to go after everybody. They’re just trying to target me just because.”
“I don’t care,” Johnson continued. “If you see my Instagram or my kennel Instagram — Facebook and all that stuff with my dogs — you can clearly tell my dogs are loved. They eat steaks every day. I eat freakin’ French fries. They eat steaks.
“I’m not worried about all that. If they want to go after my dogs, that’s fine. My dogs will sit there and look at them and smile at them if anything, with their tongues out. If they want to go after my dogs, go ahead.”
For now, Johnson resumes focus as he takes on Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191: Johnson vs. Dodson II this Saturday, September 5, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.