Anthony Johnson: “This Time I’ll Be Fine”

Anthony JohnsonBefore Karo Parisyan’s latest meltdown, the biggest story going into today’s UFC 106 weigh-ins was welterweight Anthony Johnson. Just a month after failing to make weight at UFC 104, Johnson has plenty to prove. He’s facing the biggest challenge of his career, welterweight contender Josh Koscheck, while also battling the scale.

“I feel great. I’m rocking back and forth,” Johnson told Heavy.com. ” It’s not because I’m nervous, it’s because I can’t wait to get this over with. I’m ready to go out there and fight.”

While the media and UFC management are focused intensely on whether or not he can make the welterweight limit of 170 pounds, Johnson is confident that he will not have any issues for this fight. He never got big after the UFC 104 fight with Yoshiyuki Yoshida, transitioning immediately into training for Koscheck. And after embracing a new weight cutting strategy for his last fight, he’s going back to a system that has worked for him.

“I abandoned that one. I went back to the old Anthony Johnson style of cutting weight. I’m only six pounds over right now and I’m ready to go. I’m going to make it.,” Johnson said. “(The new program he used at UFC 104) is effective, but you have to do it right and do it ahead of time. I just didn’t do it right. Plus I was too big earlier. When it came close to the fight, the weight just wasn’t coming off fast enough. This time I’ll be fine.”

For Johnson, the main issue will be in the cage, not on the scale. Koscheck is one of the sport’s best wrestlers. Defending his shots will be the key to Johnson propelling himself into title contention or settling for a spot in the middle of the pack. While he took the fight on very short notice, the work he put into his fight at 104 carries over nicely to the bout with Koscheck.

“I didn’t really change that much around. My coaches worked with me a lot, shooting on me. I was fighting Yoshida who is a judo fighter and those guys know very good wrestling,” Johnson said. “So training for that fight prepared me for this fight also. I’ll be on my A- game Saturday night…I see a lot in his game I can capitalize on. His mistakes and stuff. You’ll see Saturday night. I ain’t fixin’ to share nothing.”

You can watch the live weigh-ins for UFC 106, scheduled for 7 PM EST, at UFC.com.

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