Anthony Johnson says he never accepted to fight Jon Jones at UFC 197.
Earlier this month, after it was reported that UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier was out of UFC 197, Jones' public relations representative, Denise White, announced that Johnson had accepted to fight Jones on short notice at UFC 197. During an appearance on The MMA Hour, Jones explained that Johnson had accepted the fight, but moments later decided to decline it, forcing the UFC to set Ovince Saint Preux as Cormier's replacement to fight Jones.
On Monday, the second-ranked UFC light heavyweight and former title challenger made a series of Instagram posts explaining his side of the story.
"Okay, everybody's hitting me up now, all of my friends, saying that Jon is throwing me under the bus or whatever," Johnson said. "I never accepted the fight with Jon. The UFC hit me up and asked me about it, but they didn't know anything about that I had dental work done. I had four screws put in my jaw, okay? So why would I accept a fight and then say, ‘No, I don't want to fight him?' That's stupid. I have more sense than that. So, either the UFC is telling this man the wrong thing, or somebody's not telling the truth somewhere in between. Because I got told something different and now I'm hearing Jon is being told this. So, I don't know, but it is what it is.
"And I know my teammate Kamaru said I was ready, but he didn't know I had, you know, dental work done. He didn't know I had four screws put in my jaw at the time he did that interview because he hadn't seen me, but like maybe twice in the gym, so he was just showing love and support whenever he said I would be ready. He's not supposed to say my teammate hasn't been in the gym, he hasn't been doing anything. No teammate would say that to another teammate if you respect that person. I hope nobody gets it twisted and like I said, it is what it is.
"And I'm only doing these videos because I owe it to the fans, I owe it to everybody, so they can know besides reading and hearing sh*t from other people. You're hearing it from me. I never said 'okay' to the fight. I never said, ‘Yeah.' So, I just want to let you guys know what the deal was and hopefully we get to the bottom of it because something's not right. Him being told that I accepted the fight and I never said it. Like I said, I heard something totally different as far as coming from his camp. I heard other things. Like I said, it is what it is and I hope everybody has a good day."