Cody Martin of the Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks martial arts expert James Johnson got into an altercation on Wednesday's game after a headbutting incident. Things didn't get completely out of hand, but both players got ejected.
The incident occurred late in the fourth quarter with the game in the bag for the Hornets. Take a look at Martin and Johnson in front of the Mavs bench. The two suddenly got into each others' faces. Fortunately, the referee quickly blew the whistle, triggering the other players to get in between Martin and Johnson.
Things get chippy between the Mavs and Hornets 👀 pic.twitter.com/clqKRaMsUj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 31, 2020
Here's another clip that clearly shows what occurred. Martin didn't really appreciate Johnson's unnecessary shove. Johnson, for his part, didn't want Martin near his face. And so Johnson gave him a little headbutt instead.
— Dorothy J. Gentry (@DorothyJGentry) December 31, 2020
One may consider Martin lucky. After all, the Mavs veteran is actually a black belt in Karate and has a kickboxing record of 20-0. If Johnson would've engaged, we may have seen Martin knocked down on the floor. In an interview with Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated in 2018, Johnson has never met the man who can beat him.
“I’m sure there’s someone out there in this world who can beat me. I haven’t met him yet,” Johnson says. “I’ve been knocked down before. I’ve been knocked out before, but I remember getting back up before that 10-second count and I remember winning that fight.”
Johnson's MMA background and dog-like attitude were what excited Mavs fans when the team picked him up via trade. Some fans say that Luka Doncic needs that type of guy around him. The incident on Wednesday is proof that Johnson will never back down from anyone. He isn't afraid to throw his fists — or his head — for anyone who irritates him.