He is adept at passing and trapping his opponents arms to secure a mounted crucifix. The champ has good topside submissions, including chokes and armlocks. We have not seen much of him on his back, as he has only been taken down once and he got right back up.
A strong chin and excellent cardio are also positive elements of his game. It is amazing to think that he fought several times as a welterweight before finding his true home at light heavyweight. It has been a journey of redemption for Johnson since getting cut from the UFC in He has looked very impressive since returning last year at UFC , where he scored a dominant decision victory over Phil Davis.
That win would be followed up by brutal knockouts of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson. This will be his first shot at UFC gold. Johnson has transformed himself into one of the most terrifying strikers in the UFC. His striking game revolves around his speed and incredible power, which he has in both his hands and feet.
Like many other Blackzilians, he has benefited greatly under the tutelage of striking coach Henry Hooft. Anthony has improved his footwork over the last few years, which enables him to cut angles and effectively cut off the cage.
He also mixes things up nicely with well timed uppercuts and head kicks, especially with his left leg. He has a nice double and efficient single leg takdowns when he chooses to wrestle, which is not very often. The Georgia native has excellent takedown defense, which is aided by his strong base and hips. He has strong ground and pound from top position, but not much of an offensive submission game. He has been submitted three times in his career by rear-naked choke, which were all the result of him running out of gas.
This is a fantastic matchup between the two incredibly talented light heavyweights. Jones, on the other hand, is slowly building his case as the best fighter to ever compete in the sport. If Jones can survive the first round, where Rumble is the most dangerous, he should be able to win a decision or even earn a late stoppage. Jones will most likely choose to be all the way in or all the way out. Meaning he wants to be in the clinch against Johnson or on the outside where he can use his incredible length and reach to his advantage.
He does not want to stay at punching range with Johnson. Johnson is very hard to takedown, especially early, so wearing him down in the clinch may be the next best thing for Jones. I expect Jones to eat a few hard shots early but ultimately take over in the later rounds and earn a clear decision win. But this is no easy spot. If the line keeps drifting higher, which it might by fight time, the value will have completely vanished. The undercard features another big fight in the light heavyweight division between Phil Davis and Ryan Bader.
Davis is a favorite, with Bader getting 2-to-1 odds as the underdog. Davis , ranked fifth in the division, is coming off a nice win over the always-tough Glover Teixeira and has performed better than Bader against tough opponents. Bader , ranked seventh, is on a three-fight win streak, but against much weaker competition. Also on the undercard is a middleweight fight between Gegard Mousasi and veteran Dan Henderson. Mousasi opened about a favorite, but has taken the early money and is now Mousasi has been around quite a while but is only 29 and very much in his prime.
Henderson , however, has lost four of his last five fights and is nearing the end of his great career at age We like Mousasi in this fight, but the value has dried up to the point where Henderson might be worth a shot.
He possesses tremendous power in his right hand, and if he can land a shot like the one that finished Mauricio "Shogun" Rua back in March of last year, he could pull the upset. We like Mousasi but won't argue with someone making a play on Henderson, especially if this line keeps going higher.