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Fabio Maldonado calls out 'cardio-less' Anthony Johnson, will beat 'Rumble' via body shots


Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off his three-round drubbing of Phil Davis (watch video highlights here) last weekend (April 26, 2014) at UFC 172 event in Baltimore, Md., Anthony Johnson already has someone calling him out to fight.

That man, Fabio Maldonado, recently informed MMA Fighting that he wants a shot at "Rumble" in his next outing inside the Octagon. That's because the scrappy Brazilian thinks he matches up well with Johnson, claiming a victory over the newest addition to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight division, he''ll be able to take his spot in the promotion's rankings.

His words:

"I want to fight Anthony Johnson. He would be a good fight with me. I would fight anyone in the UFC, but I'd rather fight Anthony Johnson. He has a good striking game and takedowns, but I don't think he would be able to take me down. I want to fight a well-ranked fighter so, so I beat him and take his spot in the rankings."

Like the majority of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community, Maldonado picked Davis to defeat Johnson in what marked his first fight inside the Octagon since getting the boot for weight issues in 2012.

In his breakdown of the potential scrap, Fabio believes his cardio is better than Johnson's and claims that he won't be able to handle his body shots.

He explains:

"I thought Phil Davis would win the fight, but I was wrong. He has a good striking game, he's well-rounded. He has good takedowns, but maybe he doesn't have a good cardio to take the fight down and keep it there. I think he's a good match-up for me, and I think I would beat him. If he gasses in other fights, he would gas faster against me. I have some good body shots."

Despite winning three straight in the 205-pound division -- after dropping three in a row -- Maldonado isn't ranked in the Top 15; however, a win over Johnson -- who skyrocketed into the middle of the contender pack literally overnight -- would most likely change that.

Indeed, Maldonado's stand-and-bang style would make for an interesting match against Johnson, but would Maldonado be able to hang with the wrestling prowess, as well as punching power, the Blackzilian boasts?

While the match up is unlikely to happen, seeing as how Johnson shot up the rankings to No. 6 in the world, you can't question Maldonado's grit for challenging the new threat on the block.

Anyone care to see this match up?

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