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What legacy will Anthony Rumble Johnson leave behind in MMA?
Anthony Johnson began his UFC career back in June 12, 2007 on UFC Fight Night: Stout vs Fisher, on the preliminary card facing Chad Reiner at Welterweight. Before this Johnson worked as a bouncer. Johnson would win in spectacular fashion with a 13 second knockout in the first round.
Johnson would lose his second fight at Welterweight in the UFC to Rich Clementi at UFC 76, by Rear Naked Choke. After facing defeat for the first time, Johnson would bounce back with a devastating knockout against Tom Speer in the first round.
Johnson early career in the UFC would have many highs and lows. Although he had impressive wins against the likes of Dan Hardy and Kevin Burns, Johnson would have problems making weight. The weight cut to get to Welterweight proved to be very challenging. Johnson would try his chances at Middleweight in a losing effort against Vitor Belfort at UFC 142, but would miss weight once again.
Johnson would leave the UFC and fought for Titan Fighting Championship and the World Series of Fighting. In that time in both organizations, Johnson would try moving up to Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight. It proved to be a great career move, as Johnson made waves. Johnson would beat notable names like Andrei Arlovski (at Heavyweight) and Mike Kyle(at Light Heavyweight) in the WSOF. Johnson would return back to the UFC, as a Light Heavyweight at UFC 172 against Phil Davis and would win by Decision. From Johnson first fight at Light Heavyweight in Titan Fighting Championship to his return at UFC 172, Johnson would go on a 7 fight win streak.
Johnson win over Davis, made him one of the top contenders in the UFC Light Heavyweight Division. Johnson would fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueria at UFC on Fox: Lawler vs Brown and would win in arguably one of the most brutal knockouts in Nogueria career.
Johnson would then go on to beat Alexander Gustafsson by TKO in the 1st round, to challenge for the Light Heavyweight Championship. After his opponent then Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones had to vacate the belt due to out of sports issues, Johnson would have to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 187. Johnson would lose by Rear Naked Choke in the 3rd round. Johnson would then go on a 3 fight win streak beating Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira, all in the 1st round by knockout and without getting hit. Johnson would fight Daniel Cormier again for the Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 210 and would lose again to a Rear Naked Choke in the 2nd round.
After the fight, Johnson would announce his retirement and would thank the UFC, his peers and fans for all the support through the years. Johnson started MMA when he was 20 years old and would announce his retirement at age 33. Johnson had an impressive 13 year career in MMA and if Johnson wanted, would still be a Light Heavyweight title contender or a potential Heavyweight title contender. Johnson will go down as one of the most dangerous knockout artist in UFC history, winning seven performances of the night bonuses. Fans knew what they were getting when they paid to see Johnson compete and his opponents knew the night they were in for. The legacy Johnson will leave behind is an archive of highlight reel Knockouts, great fights and an extraordinary career.
Written by Tyriece Simon
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