Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson Returning to UFC, Faces Phil Davis at UFC 172

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

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After starching all comers in the World Series of Fighting, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is set to make his return to the UFC. UFC President Dana White broke the news on Twitter: 

Riding a six fight win streak, Anthony Johnson will make his UFC return against #4 ranked light heavyweight Phil Davis at UFC 172

— Dana White (@danawhite) February 4, 2014

Johnson established himself as a fearsome welterweight in the UFC from 2007 through 2011. However, his time at 170 pounds was mired by an inability to make weight. He then opted to join the middleweight ranks with a fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC 142, but would miss weight by an absurd 12 pounds.

That faux pas punched his ticket out of the UFC. From there, he once again missed weight in a middleweight fight opposite fellow UFC castoff David Branch, prompting the move to light heavyweight.

Since moving to 205 pounds, he has broken off five straight victories, including wins in the World Series of Fighting over former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and, most recently, veteran journeyman Mike Kyle.

Johnson has never strayed too far from the UFC's radar, though, and made an appearance at UFC 169 alongside fellow Blackzilian team members Alistair Overeem and Abel Trujillo.

His return fight will be opposite Phil Davis. Davis currently sits at No. 4 on the UFC's official light heavyweight rankings and will be a serious test for Johnson's grappling skills. Since taking a controversial win from Lyoto Machida at UFC 163, Davis has had trouble securing new fights (though he also turned down the prospect of a rematch with Machida) and has been out of the cage since August 2013. 

They face off at UFC 172, which will take place April 26 in Baltimore, Md. The card is currently headlined by the light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira.