Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson Respond to Dana White's Comments on Their Heavyweight Bout at WSOF 2
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 03.20.2013
Johnson speaks on moving up to fight at heavyweight for the bout...
During this week's media conference call for the World Series of Fighting 2 event, fighters Anthony Johnson and Andrei Arlovski and promotional CEO Ray Sefo addressed Dana White's comments about thinking there scheduled heavyweight bout not being a "legitimate" fight for Arlovski to get back into the UFC. Johnson moves up to fight at heavyweight for the first time in his career. He had previously fought at welterweight in the UFC and had missed weight several times in his career. Dana White had previously stated on the Arlovski/Johnson match-up, "The problem with that fight is, it's not a legitimate fight to me. For Arlovksi to want to get back into the UFC, he's a heavyweight fighting a 170-pounder, you know what I mean?"
Johnson on Dana White's comments: "What Dana said was his own opinion. It didn't really bother me. But to me, this is a legitimate fight. I have no hard feelings toward Dana for whatever he said. I don't even think it was meant in a harmful way toward me or Arlovski. It was just his opinion. But I don't know why he said welterweight, when I haven't fought welterweight in over a year. I mean, get with the program, you know what I mean? I fight at 205. I'm fighting heavyweight for this fight. Stop living in the past, when I used to fight at 170. This is totally different. People change, and some people change for the better, and that's what happened to me. So let's not even talk about 170. Let's talk about 205 and heavyweight."
Andrei Arlovski's thoughts on Johnson moving up to fight at heavyweight: "It doesn't matter what weight he wants to fight; it matters what he's going to bring to the table," Arlovski said. "He trained hard for this fight. It might be an easy fight, or it might be the hardest fight in my MMA career. It doesn't really matter, and everybody has their own opinion. I'll bring something to the table, and Anthony will bring something to the table, and we'll see who was right and who was wrong. It's only about the fight."
Ray Sefo on the bout: "What gets me the most is if you've never been in that cage and experienced what it's like, if you've never experienced training camp, what these guys go through and the sacrifices they have to put in to be ready for the 23rd, if you've never known what that feels like, then you shouldn't really be disrespecting any of these guys. It makes me really upset. I get it – if you want to criticize something, OK, fine, whatever. But it's one thing to give an opinion – it's another to disrespect. And it really burns a fire underneath me when people who have never been in that cage or ring disrespect the fighters. But at this point, it's just a matter of educating them and saying, 'Listen, maybe go to a gym and experience what it's like for a couple weeks,' and then you'll understand what these guys go through."