Anthony Johnson (17-4) returned to the UFC on Saturday night at UFC 172, and did so by putting the rest of the light heavyweights in the UFC on notice. Fighting two weight classes above what he originally fought at, “Rumble” took on the #4 ranked Phil Davis (12-2) and put on a completely and utterly dominant performance. Extending his win streak to 7 straight, and now announcing himself as one of the contenders in a stacked light heavyweight division.
Dressed in a sharp suit topped off by a purple tie, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson sat a confident 30 year old man and blessed to be back in the UFC.
“It felt great, I’m blessed to be back. I felt like I was right at home,” Johnson said.
No longer plagued by weight cutting issues, Anthony Johnson was able to stay strong from opening to closing bell in the 3-round fight. Phil Davis, the 4-time All-American wrestler out of Penn State was 0 for 8 in takedown attempts against Johnson.
“I’ve always believed in my wrestling, you just never got to see it because I was knocking people out,” Johnson said. “I knew my wrestling was pretty good, everybody just underestimated me.”
“He’s tough, he was ranked #4 in the world, I have nothing but respect for him. But I knew I had to take my respect, make him respect me. So that’s why I was swinging for the fences and trying to hurt him. I wasn’t trying to go out there and play patty cake or have him on top of me all sweaty that’s for sure.”
Having just defeated the 4th ranked light heavyweight in the UFC, Johnson remains humble and doesn’t think he’s close to a title shot yet. And he’s just looking to continue to fight and put in the work it takes to be a title contender.
“I’m just taking it one fight at a time, I’m not calling anybody out. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Just fighting and having exciting fights. Sooner or later I’ll get that phone call as long as I keep winning.”
“A loooong way. I just got back, you already asking me about fighting Jon Jones,” said Johnson about a potential fight in the future with the champion. “I have a ton of respect for him, he’s the champ. But I also know I got to put in the work and the effort to get to his level, to be a real contender. And just cause I had this win tonight doesn’t make me, in my opinion, a contender. So I’m just taking it one fight at a time.”