UFC 172 was one of the most exciting cards in recent memory. I can honestly say that I had this card pegged to be horrible because of the weakness of the main card. Weakness is a strong word, but on paper this card seemed like a lot of the fights could turn out snoozers and just basically leave the buyer with an empty feeling.
As usual, I could not have been more wrong. A big reason that the card was as good as it was is thanks to Anthony Johnson.
Johnson has somewhat of a troubled past with the UFC. He used to cut an incredible amount of weight so he could be the biggest man in the welterweight division. After he missed weight a couple of times and was choked out by Vitor Belfort, the UFC cut him.
Johnson wised up, started fighting at his natural weight, and went on a tear. He was brought back to compete at light heavyweight and drew a top-five opponent in Phil Davis. That is a tough fight for anyone, but for a comeback fight? Get real! Johnson needed the performance of his life and man, did he deliver.
Johnson’s biggest takeaway from this fight was his takedown defense. Davis was deep in on some serious shots, but Johnson always found a way to get out of it. Johnson was throwing power shots at every chance that made Davis question his distance. Johnson had the performance of his life, and at the same time threw his hat into the ring for title contention.