Fighter of the Month April 2014 – Anthony Johnson
By Christopher Jester
Fighter of the Month – April 2014: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
Event: UFC 172 (April 26, 2014)
Opponent: Phil Davis
Result: Unanimous Decision
There was a time where we could have assumed that we would never see Anthony Johnson back inside the Octagon. Worse yet is when they announced that he would face off against UFC perennial contender Phil Davis in his return to the UFC. This easily could have been an ugly match-up for Johnson against the NCAA Division 1 All-American. But Anthony Johnson had other plans.
Going into the fight, Johnson was nearly a 3-1 underdog. Known for his smothering wrestling and his credible submission skills, Davis was clearly the favorite to win. However, Rumble never gave him a chance to implement his gameplan. “Rumble” battered “Mr. Wonderful” throughout the entire match.
Stopping all of Davis’ takedowns, Johnson instantly became a UFC light-heavyweight contender. Mixing in leg kicks, high and low, Johnson was simply too much for Davis whose bread-and-butter wrestling was nothing against the takedown defense of Johnson. In a division where all challengers are being cleared out by it’s champion, Johnson is a breath of fresh air. Not just because of how he dominated Davis, but because of the revitalization of his career at 205lbs.
For his amazing performance in his return to the UFC, PunchDrunkGamer.com would like to reward Anthony Johnson our Fighter of the Month recognition for the month of April! Congratulations Anthony “Rumble” Johnson!
1. Fabricio Werdum (UFC on FOX: Werdum vs. Browne – April 19, 2014) – In what was heading towards a first round beating by Travis Browne, Fabricio Werdum showed why heart and experience wins battles. Werdum would go on in the next few rounds to dominate Travis Browne with his maturing striking skills. The performance earned him a fight against UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez.
2. Jon Jones (UFC 172 – April 26, 2014) – Jon Jones put on a technical masterpiece against Glover Texeira. Where one punch could have finished the fight, Jones took the fight into Texeira’s world and smashed him with elbows, knees, and whatever else he wanted to use. Jones continued his clear command over the 205lb power division. And he made it look easy.
3. Luke Rockhold (UFC 172 – April 26, 2014) – Rockhold is one of the better middleweights out there, and he continued to give reasons as to why. That inverted triangle/kimura is one of the best submissions ever witnessed and actually pulling it off against Tim Boetsch was even more impressive.
4. Tim Kennedy (TUF Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy – April 16, 2014) – It was not the most exciting of fights, but it was a fight that was a testament to how far Tim Kennedy could go in the UFC’s middleweight division. Michael Bisping has always been known for his takedown defense and his ability to get off from his back. Not so much against Kennedy. Kennedy controlled the fight and was able to do something no other fighter has been able to achieve against the Brit.
5. Donald Cerrone (UFC on FOX: Werdum vs. Browne – April 19, 2014) – Consistency was beginning to become something of a problem for Donald Cerrone, but with this performance he is back to being a contender. Edson Barboza was creative with his strikes and Cerrone was having a hard time finding the shot he needed. But when he found it, he shut off the lights for the Brazilian, earning another Performance of the Night honor.
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