Anthony Johnson showed himself to be a genuine contender in the light-heavyweight division tonight at UFC 172 with a dominant decision victory over Phil Davis.
Johnson taking the center of the Octagon early as Davis circles around him. Davis feeling out with the front kick without connecting.
Uppercut lands for Johnson and Davis attempts to clinch up looking for a takedown. Johnson lands another strike and fends off the attempt.
Nice punch lands for Davis. Johnson lands a leg kick.
A lull in the action and Davis misses with a superman punch. Davis lands lightly with a body kick and then soon after a harder one connects, but davis eats a punch from Johnson in the process.
Johnson lands a big shot and as he tries hard for a takedown Davis takes more damage and seems to be wilting. However, he suddenly bursts back to his feet and gets out of danger for now, but his left eye is damaged and bleeding.
Davis seems to be ok though and Johnson paces himself rather than trying to just go all out for a finish.
30 seconds to go and Johnson fires off another powerful flurry. Davis threatens with a head kick, but it’s blocked. The round comes to a close with Johnson very much in the ascendancy at this stage.
Johnson stalking his opponent again in the opening seconds of the second. Johnson with a leg kick and Davis responds with one of his own.
Left hand lands lightly for ‘Rumble’ and a huge right wings past Davis’ head. Right hand misses for Davis and Jonhson counters with punches of his own.
Johnson catches a low kick from Davis and immediately returns fire with a head kick that’s blocked.
A big right uppercut lands for Johnson, but Davis takes it well. Davis not committing to his strikes, clearly worried about getting caught by Johnson’s heavier firepower.
Davis with a head kick that only just misses Johnson’s head. Nice jab from Johnson. Davis with a couple of good body kicks.
Johnson just misses with a head kick. Davis tries a head kick that’s blocked and then Johnson counters with a flurry of strikes.
Right hand lands for Davis, but the head kick behind it doesn’t.
Davis goes low and tries for the takedown, but Johnson defends well and stays on his feet. Davis glances with a left hook just as the round comes to a close.
Davis back to stalking Davis and lands a body punch. ‘Rumble’ pumping out the jab and then wings a big right hook past Davis’ head.
Davis has another takedown stuffed before it’s even really begun. Davis tries a head kick that’s blocked. Davis locks up in the clinch and gets him up against the cage.
Not for long though as they break apart. Another takedown stuffed by ‘Rumble’. The power difference between these two is still very apparent here in the third round, with there being far more weight behind Johnson’s strikes.
Davis trying with another head kick, but Johnson ducks under it. Johnson almost manhandles Davis to the mat and while Davis is right back up he has to run away as Johnson runs after him trying to land a kick.
Davis in on a single leg takedown attempt, but Johnson again leaves him empty-handed. Davis trying to get his striking going, but he’s not landing with anything that will deter his opponent from continuing to throw hard shots back at him.
Johnson thinking about a takedown in the final seconds of the round and Davis tries for a kimura attempt as the fight ends.
No question about the winner here, Johnson impresses in his Octagon return and earns a clean sweep on the judges scorecards (30-27 x3) against the No.4 ranked light-heavyweight which puts him right back on the map.