UFC 172

Davis vs. Johnson: Mr. Wonderful Will Impose His Will on Rumble

Apr 27, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Phil Davis (red shorts) competes against Vinny Magalhaes (black shorts) during UFC 159 at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIApril 25, 2014

Anthony "Rumble" Johnson couldn't have drawn a worse matchup in his return to the UFC. "Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis' style seems certain to give Johnson fits at UFC 172 in Baltimore Saturday.

MMA vlogger Kyle Delaney sees it the same way:

Apr 27, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Phil Davis (red shorts) competes against Vinny Magalhaes (black shorts) during UFC 159 at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

For Johnson's sake, let's hope UFC head man Dana White doesn't have him on a short leash.

After battering opponents in his stay with the World Series of Fighting, Johnson is back in the UFC after a two-year absence.

He's a powerful man, but styles make fights.


Great Wrestling Beats Good Wrestling

Johnson did win a National Junior College Association wrestling championship with Lassen College in 2004 at 174 pounds, but Phil Davis was an All-American wrestler at Penn State from 2005-2008.

In 2008, he won a national championship at 197 pounds.

We are obviously looking at two different levels of expertise.

In their MMA careers, it's been clear who the more skilled wrestler is. Davis has used his ground game to dominate in almost every win he's had in the UFC.

Johnson has showed off his brute power while proving to be susceptible to submissions. In this interview with Inside MMA, Johnson doesn't seem to think there's anything that needs to be changed in preparation for meeting Davis.

Gregory Payan

Rumble's last two defeats in the UFC came via rear-naked chokes. If the fight goes to the ground, there's nothing shaking for Rumble.


Johnson Won't Be Able to Keep the Fight Standing

Per Fight Metric, Johnson's takedown defense rating is 75 percent. That's not too shabby, but those numbers weren't compiled against wrestlers as skilled and as strong as Davis.

If Johnson can somehow keep the fight standing, he has a good chance to, but that's unlikely.


Follow me. I dig combat sports.

@BMaziqueFPBR

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