Myself along with many other followers of the sport were very impressed with Anthony Johnson’s performance against Phil Davis at UFC 172 this past weekend. The “Blackzilian” delivered a dominant performance against “Mr Wonderful”, securing a unanimous decision victory in his return to the UFC Octagon.
“Rumble” was ranked at No.14 last week and has now catapulted to No.5 in the light heavyweight division. For those who followed Johnson during his exile from the UFC, we saw how good he looked fighting in a heavier weight class for the World Series of Fighting, but now everyone else has had the chance to see how dangerous he is at 205 lbs. Looking at him now, it’s hard to imagine that Johnson spent much of his career competing as a welterweight.
Last week, ahead of the UFC 172, I posted an article about Phil Davis potentially looking past his opponent and in my opinion that is exactly what he did. Johnson made him pay for that on Saturday night by controlling the fight on the feet and stopping Davis from securing takedowns.
Feeling crappy before a fight because you have basically starved yourself is now less of an issue for “Rumble” as he is now competing closer to his natural weight. I think it’s safe to say that the easier the weight cut is the better a fighter will perform on fight night and this has shone through in Johnson’s recent performances. There can be size and strength advantages for fighters who cut a lot of weight, but as we have seen with many fighters in the past, this can have an adverse effect on their gas tank, among other things.
Some may disagree, but overall I think it’s better to compete in a weight class that’s nearer to your natural weight. You may lose out on some physical advantages, but in the long run it will be better for your health and in my opinion that is paramount. I’d like to think that Anthony Johnson would agree with me on this.
Johnson, who is now riding a seven-fight winning streak, has shown the world that he is a force to be reckoned with at 205 lbs and in my opinion deserves the No.5 spot in the division. I’m looking forward to seeing who the UFC choose for him to fight next.
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