UFC superstar Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is adamant he's NO DOG ABUSER ... despite allegations he's "mutilating puppies" by hacking off their ears at his kennel.
A petition sprung up online this year -- calling for the UFC to fire Johnson over the way the animals are treated at the kennel he owns and operates, Rumbletime Kennels.
The petition alleges, "Anthony Johnson owns a dog kennel where he participated in hacking ears off puppies. It appears the procedure is done in house by unqualified persons as the wounds are not bandaged."
Johnson finally responded to the allegations at UFC 191 media day ... saying, "My dogs are well liked and well loved. I take my dogs everywhere. Somebody put I'm manipulating my dogs. Dude, I cropped his ears. I'm not beating the dog, I'm not starving the dog to death. Nothing like that."
FYI -- cropping -- the removal of skin from the ears -- is legal in the United States, with some people arguing it helps prevent ear infections in dogs. Others say it is cruel and unnecessary.
Johnson claims he doesn't see the practice as a negative thing.
"If you see my Instagram or my kennel Instagram -- Facebook and all that stuff with my dogs -- you can clearly tell my dogs are loved. They eat steaks every day. I eat freakin' French fries. They eat steaks."