Posted August 19, 2015 by Sydnie Jones in Editorials

UFC 191’s Anthony “Rumble” Johnson pulls yoga mat from under woman, throws it across gym, promises to do it again if she doesn’t listen

Convicted domestic abuser Anthony Johnson repping Jaco!

By Sydnie Jones

Convicted domestic abuser and #1 ranked light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who fights on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 191’s card, bragged on Facebook about terrorizing a woman who dared criticize him at the gym. As Johnson tells it, a woman was stretching on a yoga mat in the weight-lifting area of the gym and told him he was rude to begin lifting right by her. In response to an apparently heated exchange, Johnson pulled the woman’s yoga mat out from under her and threw it across the room. Like an upstanding grown man, Johnson took to social media  to mock the gym-goer for her appearance, body, and response, while threatening to do the exact same thing again if she didn’t heed his warnings to not “run” her mouth.



The text reads:
To the ugly girl in the gym built like a bag of dry dog food, this is for you.
If you get in my way or any other athlete way again I’ll through your yoga mat across the gym AGAIN.
Who in their right mind stretches where ppl are suppose to lift? Don’t ever run your mouth at me again you won’t win that battle I will. Talking about it was rude that I lifted next to you while you were stretching. You need more than stretching to help that beat up body.
Run to the front desk again crying talking about you feel threaten and gonna go to social media. I really don’t care! I’ve been through worse! That’s a athletes gym not a yoga studio. That fake crying does nothing for anybody btw. Just like the guy said you live in his neighborhood and you exaggerate and overreact all the time…
So one more time don’t run your mouth and don’t do yoga stretching where ppl lift weights or I’ll snatch the mat from under you AGAIN and throw it AGAIN…
Understand? Good girl…
One more thing stop wearing sports bras when your tummy look like a old country red clay dirt road.

Is the UFC listening? Because this is legitimately alarming. One of their fighters, who has been convicted of domestic violence once and accused of it twice more by different women, became so incensed that this woman spoke to him in a way he didn’t like that he pulled the yoga mat she was on out from under her. 

This is not how people who are rational and in control act. This is how people whose tempers and egos run unchecked behave when someone they think they can dominate challenges them. Anthony Johnson is more than just a menacing bully; he’s dangerous. He’s demonstrated this before, and it’s not going to change on its own.

Johnson has since removed the Facebook status, posting this instead:


Given that Rumble deleted the status, one does wonder if he knows what “always” means. One also wonders why he would delete it, if he’s unafraid of the consequences of posting misogynistic screeds on social media, bragging about scaring a woman so much she cried. But lest you think he was going to deny it, or pull a Jon Jones and say he was hacked, he confirmed on Twitter that the incident happened:

He’d never let it go there? Now I also wonder if he knows the definition of “never,” because, as mentioned, he was convicted of domestic violence, agreeing that he would not contest the charges and allowing the court to find him guilty. He has taken “it” there before.

But we only got the short version in that Facebook post. Had we known salient details like she was talking shit to Johnson, we probably could see why he, a 6’2, 205 pound, heavily muscled man, was justified in physically showing this woman that she has no right to criticize him. Just kidding! He can include as many inconsequential, circumstantial details he wants to construct a flimsy excuse for his reaction, but it’s unnecessary.

Anthony Johnson reacted as he did because he’s out of control, self-righteous, and no one is stopping him. The UFC keeps Johnson on their roster, featuring him prominently, despite his history of domestic violence and their stated zero tolerance policy. Johnson’s team, the Blackzilians, who make up a gym rife with convictions for and allegations of domestic violence,  certainly doesn’t mind.

There is no justification, nor is there the possibility thus far that Johnson sees this in hindsight. He made it clear on Twitter, when asked directly.

This echoes his initial Facebook promise, that he would readily pull the woman’s yoga mat out from under her and throw it across the gym again, should she disobey him.

Johnson does not get it. Maybe that’s why he’s skeptical she would earnestly be upset and feel threatened, and conclude she was “fake crying.” But, for most, this type of angry, physical interaction doesn’t happen in their every-day life, and it’s shocking to experience. Johnson seems to think that it’s not only justified, but can reasonably be expected. This is an alarming look into his mindset, that something so innocuous could set off such an aggressive overreaction.

This is what happens when you question Johnson. And, in Johnson’s mind, you deserve it. So it’s no wonder he also doesn’t realize how wildly inappropriate it is to smugly insult the woman’s appearance and body, demand she do what he says, and threaten her. In Johnson’s mind, this is part of the consequence of doing “dumb shit” around him. If Johnson sees no issue with pulling a yoga mat out from under a woman and throwing it across the gym, these things pale in comparison. And if Johnson sees no issue with pulling a yoga mat out from under a woman and throwing it across the gym, what will he see an issue with? What will the UFC see an issue with?

Probably not this.

I hope we don’t have to find out, because it will be at the expense of someone who isn’t a 205-pound professional fighter, and could very well be a woman. But unless Johnson gets help – either for his uncontrollable anger or his understanding of appropriate responses to “dumb shit” – it seems inevitable. I hope I’m wrong.

Also, people stretch in gyms.

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Sydnie Jones