Anthony Johnson Ready for Super-Welterweight Title Shot

Darren WongSenior Analyst IOctober 26, 2009

Anthony Johnson's attempt to defy the laws of physics came to a jarring halt at 176 lbs. Considering he started his cut a few months ago at 220 lbs, even that was impressive. One day after Johnson's weight cutting exploits ended, Yoshiyuiki Yoshida's night ended in an even more jarring fashion.

Anthony Johnson's knockout over Yoshiyuki Yoshida was so impressive to some viewers, that many people are already touting him as a title contender.

The knockout was pretty impressive, and is certainly worth another look.


Yes. It was a good knockout, and definitely Steve Mazzagatti's best stoppage of the night.

Far better than his stoppage of Ben Rothwell, although Mazzagatti really was only saving Rothwell from more punishment. Compubox stats show that for the first five minutes of the fight, Cain Velasquez was getting more hits than Google.

Mazzagatti simply saved Rothwell from serious brain damage equivalent to that caused by watching Transformers 2 .

Anyway, back to the Anthony Johnson fight. What makes this knockout so impressive is that nobody has ever done this to Yoshida before....

in 2009.

Kind of like how Randy Couture has never been submitted...

inside the Octagon.

In 2008, this happened....


Okay, so Anthony Johnson isn't exactly boldly going where no man has gone before, but the knockdown still puts Anthony Johnson on some sort of contenders list.

Unfortunately, since Anthony Johnson was five pounds over the welterweight limit, I can't actually raise his welterweight ranking. However, there are some other categories where Anthony Johnson has become the top contender.


Pat Miletich's P4P Rankings: No. 4 Contender under Robbie Lawler and Vitor Belfort

A few months back, back while Pat was still the WAMMA vice-president, Affliction was a fight promotion, and Josh Barnett was a well-respected heavyweight, Miletich said that he thought that Vitor Belfort and Robbie Lawler should both be considered for top five pound-for-pound status.

Not kidding.

Actually, I'm kidding about the Josh Barnett part. He wasn't well-respected even then.


Strikeforce 175 Lb Super-Welterweight Rankings: No. 2 Contender

175 isn't a real division, but that probably won't stop Strikeforce from holding fights at that weight sooner or later, given Scott Coker's penchant for catchweight fights. I could easily see Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Mayhem Miller, and Jay Hieron fight at this weight at some time.

Aside from those fighters, Thiago Alves got busted for taking a diuretic once to make weight, and also dominated Matt Hughes when he fought at 174 lbs, so he should be considered another serious challenger should he ever leave the UFC.

Anthony Johnson is huge for 175 lbs, but I think that as long as he can make weight, he'll be a real threat.


"Overweight Contenders Beating Up Smaller Japanese Fighters Who Make Weight" Unisex Division: No. 1 Contender

This is perhaps the least-prestigious division, but it's still an honour worth mentioning. In the championship bout, Anthony Johnson would be taking on Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, who weighed in seven pounds over the 145 lb limit in her bout with Hitomi Akano, who usually fights at less than 135 lbs.


Fighters Who Say They're Going to Make Weight, But Fail Miserably, and Make Excuses About It Later: Elite XC YAMMA PIT Champion

The belt for this title comes with extra holes, just to make sure the champ can wear it. I'm going to award the title here to Anthony Johnson for his outstanding effort.

In order to keep this title, he'll face no-so stiff competition from the likes of Travis Lutter, Jason Guida, and Gabe Ruediger.

All joking aside, I think that it's pretty clear that Anthony Johnson has outgrown the welterweight division. He routinely walks around at 210 lbs, which is probably heavier than the smaller light-heavyweights like Lyoto Machida, Wanderlei Silva.

He's definitely bigger than most middleweights including Dan Henderson, who walks around at about 200 lbs.

Even worse, this training camp, Anthony Johnson started cutting down from 220 lbs, and he got that big without even trying. That's the same weight that Randy Couture weighed in at when he fought Brock Lesnar!

That 220 lbs is also, coincidentally, the same weight that Fedor Emelianenko would weigh if he gave up ice cream for a month.

Anthony Johnson is only 25 years old, and is apparently still growing. Making weight is only going to get harder over the next few years. It's time that he realize that he's not a welterweight anymore and start preparing for a debut in the middleweight division.