Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson served up a potent reminder of his fearsome punching power on Friday night at Bellator 258 when he KO’d Jose Augusto in the second round, but the former UFC fighter was far from happy with his performance.
Johnson’s displeasure stems from the fact that in the first round he was dropped of the fight and had to weather the storm that followed, before turning things around and eventually emerging with a highlight reel one-punch finish.
“(I’m) pissed,” Johnson told MMAJunkie after the event. “He hit me. I don’t mind getting hit, but I got hit and I dropped. I mean, what the hell? That ain’t me. That was a piss-poor performance on my part. I’m better than that. I know I’m better than that. You guys know I’m better than that. I’m not going to call it a lucky shot – he hit me. He caught me slipping. He got in on me. That was all on me and I’m pissed at myself that he hit me.
“I’m getting mad at myself. That was a dumbass performance.”
However, Bellator boss Scott Coker stated his belief that Johnson was being too hard on himself, especially since ‘Rumble’ was coming back after a four-fight layoff and had a late change in opponent.
“When you’re training for an opponent like ‘Rumble’ has been for Romero, it’s a curve ball for him, too,” Coker told the media. “I think it’s unfair to judge him based on this fight, because he’s been training for Romero, who’s primarily a wrestler, a grinder. Now you throw in a completely different opponent, and he got caught. Listen, everybody gets caught in this sport. It’s going to happen. But at the end of the day, he did what he had to do. He overcame the obstacle, he won in tremendous fashion. I think it was one of the biggest knockouts I’ve seen here in a while. Now, he moves forward to meet [Vadim] Nemkov. I don’t think he should be disappointed at all. I think the fighters are sometimes are their worst critic.”