UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has known his share of controversy in recent years.
The 31 year old Florida-based fighter has endured allegations of domestic violence from several different women since 2009, including one which resulted in a “no contest” plea.
Most recently, Johnson posted a long rant on his Facebook page, reported here at Caged Insider, where he insulted a female gym patron and threatened to “snatch the yoga mat from under you AGAIN and throw it AGAIN.”
In the ensuing controversy, Johnson apologized and deleted the post. The UFC responded with an investigation, and later announced Johnson would undergo counseling and give a donation to a women’s charity.
At today’s UFC 191 media event in Las Vegas however, Johnson surprised many when he was asked if the recent controversy was distracting.
“Not even a little bit, man,” he said, as transcribed by Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report. “Whenever I posted my ‘rant,’ as they called it, I took that upon myself to post it. I’m not afraid of the media because they’re going to say what they want to say, anyway.”
Johnson went on to downplay the incident — essentially, calling it something everybody does.
“I didn’t attack anybody,” Johnson added. “All I did was throw a yoga mat and talk some trash. Who hasn’t thrown somebody’s stuff out of the way and talked trash? I’m just a public figure, and they want to make an example out of me. That’s fine with me. I’m not perfect. Show me somebody that hasn’t talked trash about somebody and put it on Facebook. It just happened to be me, and they want to say what they want to say. Like I said, I sleep well at night.”
Johnson would later offer mixed messages about the post — insinuating he was wrong to say disparaging things to the woman in question, but that he regrets nothing.
“I wasn’t embarrassed by anything I said,” he said. “Do I regret it? No. But I am sorry. Nobody deserves to be talked about like that.”
Johnson faces Jimi Manuwa in a light heavyweight bout on the UFC 191 main card Saturday.