UFC welterweight John Howard is in training camp as he's preparing face knockout artist Anthony "Rumble" Johnson on the UFC On Versus 1 event.
On March 21st Howard will get a chance to improve his UFC record to 4-0 as he'll be fighting on the televised portion of the fight card for the first time.
Howard is coming off a thrilling come from behind TKO victory over MMA veteran Dennis Hallman at the TUF 10 Finale last December. He has defeated Chris Wilson, Tamdan McCrory, and Hallman thus far in the UFC. He and Wilson won the fight of the night bonus at UFC 94.
Howard took some time out his his busy schedule of training twice a day to chat with MMAforreal.com about his upcoming fight with Anthony Johnson, how the beef between the two really got started, and what he plans to do once he and Johnson finally face off in the cage come March 21st on the Versus channel. I have a synopsis of the interview and the FULL AUDIO after the jump. It's a MUST listen, and let me say that this fight is going to be fireworks. Also, I haven't done a phone interview in a LONG time. Any feedback would be appreciated in the comments section.John Howard Interview by MMA4Real
-He gave Dennis Hallman full credit for being up in the fight prior to him being able to put Hallman away with the TKO in the last round.
-He said he would like to fight Matt Hughes at some point, but now he's concentrating on Anthony Johnson. He'd like to fight Hughes because he's a legend in the sport.
-He says the beef with Johnson is legitimate. That Johnson started the beef and crossed the line by being disrespectful. This fight is about respect. He says that if he and Johnson crossed paths right then and there they would probably have to fight it's that serious.
-He says that Johnson is skilled, but he thinks he is the better boxer and that he's going to throw hands with him.
-He says that Johnson is a big dude, but he's also a big welterweight and that he used to fight at 205. He says that he's putting on weight for this fight. He walks around close to 200lbs and that Johnson might outweigh him on fight night, but it will only be a couple of pounds.
-He says that he's taking the thin air into consideration for this fight and he's preparing appropriately for that. Also, that he picked up a couple of things from Johnson's fight with Koscheck that he can exploit...but didn't want to talk about his gameplan much.
-In regards to making weight, he says that Johnson BETTER make weight. He ain't having any excuses from him if he doesn't. He says that he'll get in the sauna with Johnson and help him cut the weight cause he wants this fight so bad. I asked him in Johnson misses weight would he decline the fight. He said he isn't sure if he would, but that it's important for Johnson to make weight if he has to go through hell to make weight himself.
-He showed a lot of humbleness when asked about what it's like to finally get on the televised portion of a huge card like UFC On Versus 1. He's thankful to all the people that have helped him get there.
-I asked him about Roy Nelson getting the KO bonus at the TUF 10 Finale...and he was cool with that and thought Roy deserved it.
-He said that if he gets past Johnson he would love to fight on the UFC card when they go to Boston later this year..hopefully in the co-main event or something. He said that Boston represents like no other city and the fans represent like no other fans and that it'll be a huge event.
-If he could pick a fighter to fight on that card, it would be Jon Fitch.
-I asked him to describe the following fighters: Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Paul Daley, Thiago Alves, and GSP.
-He said that Dan Hardy has a puncher's chance against GSP and that's about it. GSP will win via submisson.