ďNothing was going through my mind except that [Linderman] poked me in the eye,Ē Johnson said of the sequence. ďI looked over at Herb, and Herb said he didnít see it. I respect him. Heís the best ref in the world. If he didnít see it, then I respect that, because they donít see everything.Ē
Next, Johnson says he heard Lindermanís corner urge the Californian to attack while ďRumbleĒ gathered his wits. The advice proved less than helpful, as Johnson planted his back foot and countered Linderman with a straight right hand that instantly turned out his lights, causing him to fall limp, face-first on the canvas.
ďI heard D.J.ís corner say, ĎGo get him,í because they thought it was an opportunity. He just left himself open. I trained to step backward and punch at the same time, kind of like how Chuck Liddell used to do. We train that day in and day out,Ē said Johnson. ďUsually when you knock somebody out, you donít feel it. You just happen to hit them in the right spot, and thatís exactly what happened. I didnít think he was going to fall the way he did. I donít think heís ever been knocked out or stopped like that. I think I was the first, so Iím proud of myself.Ē