Anthony Johnson shuts down rumors the Blackzilians are disbanding

BY Damon Martin • January 29, 2016

Over the last few years, the Blackzilians gym in South Florida has produced some of the best fighters currently competing in the UFC, but recently there have been reports that the team was in jeopardy of disbanding and the facility closing shop.

Team owner and founder Glenn Robinson quickly smashed those rumors while explaining that he would be open to selling off his clothing brand Jaco, which is well known for apparel and accessories in the sport, but had no interest in getting out of the MMA business at the same time.

Anthony Johnson, who fights Ryan Bader this weekend in New Jersey, heard the same rumors that the gym he's been training at for the last few years was shutting down, and he couldn't help but laugh and shake his head at those who bought the claim.

"I heard about the rumor, too. I didn't know anything about it until my coach asked me about it, did I know anything about it. I was like what the hell are you talking about? It kind of threw all of us for a spin. We just didn't know who would be stupid enough to say something like that," Johnson told FOX Sports.

"Of course if it's in the media, people automatically believe -- it so it was just dumb. Nothing's going on in our gym except hard work, training and happiness. Nobody has any complaints as far as I know, and if they do, I don't pay attention to them."

As far as any fighters making an exodus from the gym, Johnson also put that rumor to bed and said that there are a few "team captains" who would be the only real source of information when it comes to who is coming and going at the Blackzilians and if it didn't come from them, it's probably not true.

"People are going to talk no matter what. You either want to believe it or you don't," Johnson said. "You know how people really are. It's a bunch of bulls--t when people say stuff like that.

"If it didn't come from me or Rashad (Evans) or Michael Johnson or someone like that, someone that has a name in the gym, 99 percent of the time it ain't true."

For his training camp to prepare for Bader this weekend, Johnson had the benefit of Evans being added back into his routine fresh off a fight with the former "Ultimate Fighter" winner this past October.

While Evans came up short in his bid to beat Bader, he still had plenty of valuable knowledge to add to the strategy and Johnson was happy to have him there.

"He's been giving me some pointers," Johnson said. "Rashad has definitely been helping out."

Johnson knows he has his hands full with Bader this weekend so he used every tool available at his gym to help him prepare. In the end, Johnson knows he's ready for whatever Bader throws at him.

"He's looking good. He's definitely a tough opponent," Johnson said. "He's a top three opponent so I look forward to fighting him. His standup has gotten so much better. Of course his wrestling has always been there. We'll see, I'm excited to see what happens."