So much has been made about Anthony Johnson and his inability to win fights if he isn’t knocking dudes out cold in the first round. Johnson’s success is certainly a product of his tremendous punching power and willingness to put himself in danger early into a fight, but some also think it’s due to Johnson’s small gas tank and inability to compete in deep water. That was the case in his first fight with current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight king Daniel Cormier two years ago at UFC 187, losing via third-round submission, but “Rumble” is ready to prove otherwise in the rematch at UFC 210 on April 8.
“I’m definitely not the same fighter I was two years ago,” said Johnson during UFC 210’s media conference call earlier this week. “Every day, every week, every month, every year I’m getting better and better, so you’ll see a different guy out there the next time you see me fight.
“[The loss] definitely lit a fire under my ass to train harder and know what I needed to do to beat this guy.”
For the majority of his career, Johnson has been knocking opponents dead with his unparalleled power. In fact, he may be the best knockout artist we’ve seen at 205 pounds since Chuck Liddell. However, for the majority of his career, Johnson has also had to run from ridicule of being a fighter who gasses out and wilts under pressure. At UFC 210, Johnson is going to prove that there’s more to him than what meets the eye.
“The majority of the community believes I’m just a first-round fighter because most of my fights end in the first round,” said Johnson. “But they’re entitled to their own opinion, and that’s fine with me. I have nothing to prove to anybody but myself, so if [Cormier] wants to believe that and everybody else wants to believe that, that’s completely fine with me.”
Of course, Johnson’s ability to showcase his longevity and effectiveness late into the fight hinders on Cormier’s durability to ward off punches from the hardest-hitting name in the game. But if “DC” can yet again weather the storm and drag Johnson to the championship rounds in the rematch, “Rumble” will have every opportunity to back up his claims.