12 reasons why everyone should be rooting for Anthony Johnson at UFC 187
A new king will be crowned in the main event at UFC 187, and Anthony Johnson might just be the rightful heir to Jon Jones' former throne.
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson will slug it out with Daniel Cormier in the headline bout this weekend for the light heavyweight title. While we're big fans of DC's wrestling acumen and heavy hands, we're backing our boy Rumble to take home the title, and here's why...
1. This photo
The fact that he's friendly with Irish UFC stars Neil Seery and Paul Redmond should be reason enough, but alas, we have 11 more.
— Neil 2 Tap Seery (@NeilSeeryMMA) May 20, 2015
2. His great sense of humour
Johnson and Jon Jones nearly gave poor Uncle Dana a heart attack with their reenactment of that infamous Jones-Cormier brawl at the MGM Grand.
3. The walkout shirt
In our eyes, it's the pound-for-pound greatest walkout shirt in UFC history.
4. Everyone loves an underdog
Recently underdogs have had a penchant for winning title fights too. We've seen Rafael dos Anjos, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and TJ Dillashaw upset the odds to become UFC champions within the last 12 months.
5. Appeared in perhaps the greatest MMA movie ever made
There are worse people to get arm-barred by than Sparta champion Brendan Conlon. On a side note, Nick Nolte was robbed of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
6. He came back from the dead
Johnson was cut from the UFC after his submission loss to Vitor Belfort for perpetually missing weight. Amazingly, AJ was fighting at 170 lb back then, but then reassessed his options, moved up to light heavyweight and eventually worked his way into the UFC title frame.
7. He's undefeated at 205 lb
Johnson's 19-4 record is somewhat misleading. He spent a large portion of his career at welterweight, but has never been beaten at light heavyweight. He has won seven consecutive fights in since switching to 205 lb.
Cormier has a solitary blemish on his 16-fight record,after his decision loss to Jon Jones at UFC 182.
8. The guy's a giant killer
He completely dominated the then fourth-ranked light heavyweight contender Phil Davis in his return bout to the UFC, taking home a unanimous decision victory.
He also holds victories over MMA legend Antônio Rogério Nogueira, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in a heavyweight clash, and famously knocked out top 205 lb contender Alexander Gustafsson in the lion's den.
8. Boy, did he appreciate how big of a deal that was
Beating the man who gave Jon Jones his toughest ever test... by knocking him out in the first round... in his Gus' home country... in the headline bout of the first UFC stadium event in Europe... to earn a title shot... HUGE!
10. Punches in bunches
It's important to note that Nogueira came into his fight with Rumble off the back of victories over former light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz.
Johnson made it look easy.
11. One-punch knockout power
He has the most sub-minute KO wins in UFC history, with four.
12. This guy
Although little is known what the future holds for Jon Jones, we can't ignore the possibility that he might return to fighting. If he does come back, Dana White already confirmed he will immediately be granted a shot to reclaim his belt.
Cormier didn't seem to cause him any problems during their bout at UFC 182. Therefore Rumble would be a more intriguing match up for Jones.
He's a fresh face in the title picture and his heavy striking style and blistering footwork might cause Jones has the potential to make him a troublesome opponent for Jones.