Anthony Johnson is back in the doghouse.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight slugger was targeted by petitioners earlier this year for the practice of ear cropping, a common but controversial procedure in which excess skin is removed from the ears of pet canines.
"Anthony Johnson owns a dog kennel where he participated in hacking ears off puppies," the complaint read (see it here). "It appears the procedure is done in house by unqualified persons as the wounds are not bandaged."
Ear cropping is not illegal in the United States and Johnson denies any claims of animal abuse.
"My dogs are well liked and well loved," Johnson told MMA Fighting. "Dude, I cropped his ears. I'm not beating the dog, I'm not starving the dog to death. Nothing like that."
The former title contender made headlines just last month after posting a Facebook rant against a female member of his gym. After the promotion concluded its investigation, "Rumble" issued an apology and made a charitable donation to a local women's organization.
As for the petition's accusation of "mutilating dogs?"
"That whole kennel thing, that's not even my dog and people want to make it sound like it's my dog," he continued. "At the same time, they want to talk about dogs with cropped ears, they need to go after everybody. They're just trying to target me just because."
Johnson fights Jimi Manuwa at the UFC 191 pay-per-view (PPV) event this Saturday (Sept. 5, 2015) in Las Vegas, Nevada (more on that fight here).