"DC was a real man and called me" - Anthony Johnson reacts to Daniel Cormier's withdrawal from UFC 206

The pair were set to meet in Toronto on December 10th but the light-heavyweight champion was forced to pull out with a groin injury

Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson

Image: John Locher / AP/Press Association Images

Anthony Johnson has remained positive about his cancelled light-heavyweight bout with Daniel Cormier due next month.

The pair were set to meet on December 10th in Toronto, but Cormier was forced to withdraw from the event with a groin injury.

'Rumble' told FOX Sports that he was not disappointed with the bout's cancellation, which will now be replaced by an interim featherweight title bout between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway, and praised Cormier for how he handled telling him he was injured.

"I just see it as a blessing," he said. "Things happen whenever they're supposed to. I'm not stressing about it. I did train hard for this. I trained really hard for this.

"I was probably in the best shape I've been in a long time. I was in sick shape. I felt amazing.

"[Cormier] called me. Much love to DC. Not many fighters will call you and say 'I apologize'.

"DC was a real man and called me and apologized and then apologized on Twitter. I haven't really been signed into Twitter and I haven't been on social media much preparing for this fight, but when I signed into Twitter, I saw his message to me. That was mad respect from him to do that."

The pair met previously at UFC 187, were Cormier beat Johnson via submission to win the vacant light-heavyweight title. 

Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson (seen here being lifted) battled it out at UFC 187 for the light-heavyweight belt. Image: John Locher / AP/Press Association Images

Johnson went on to say that he would be prepared to fight at heavyweight as he feels fighting at 205 again will serve him no purpose.

"If it's a fun fight, I'd definitely try it out. I always said I was going to go up to heavyweight in the UFC before I retired anyways.

"I might as well try it out if I get the opportunity. There's some good heavyweights out there. Those boys are big, so I'm definitely taking a big risk and a big chance fighting those guys. I look forward to the challenge.

"If I fight, it has to be at heavyweight because at 205, it's just not worth it."

Speaking to The MMA Hour this week, Cormier discussed the injury that kept him out of the bout.

"So, the last few weeks I’ve been having this issue with my right leg. Every time it was isolated, I couldn’t lift it. I adjusted my training and just started boxing. Which, when you think about it in a fight with Anthony Johnson it’s probably not your best course of action.

"About two weeks ago, I went to wrestling practice and it started bothering me more. I wasn’t able to run anymore, as I do a lot of running to drop the weight. Monday morning I woke up, hit pads, ran, and on Tuesday I went to run and I could not run. Thursday I went to jiu-jitsu practice and at that point, my right leg we were doing back drills; I was grappling with Cain, and I had to actually pick up my leg with my hand to put it inside before I could start to grapple.

"It had no power at all when it was isolated, so it had to be lifted. Last week for training was tough and it was getting worse. Then I had my physical and went to the doctor and he told me to lay back on the table.

"And when I went to lay back on the table, I lay down and then he told me to get up, and I couldn’t come straight up. I had to kind of turn sideways, pull myself forward in order to get back to my sitting position."