For some guys the bright lights of the big show are just too much to handle, they crack under the pressure. If history is any indication, Anthony Johnson is one of those guys. His UFC career was full of failed weight cuts and disappointing performances inside the cage. It all came to a head when “Rumble” showed up 11lbs overweight for a middleweight bout with Vitor Belfort and on fight night Johnson was easily submitted by the Brazilian. Following the incident he was subsequently released from the promotion.
That experience may have been the wake-up call Anthony Johnson needed. Because, since being released from the UFC, Johnson has gone a perfect 6-0, with 4 TKO victories. That run has now included 3 fights with the World Series of Fighting, where he has really come into his own. Unfortunately injuries have prevented him from fighting as often as he might like. However, last night at WSOF 8 Johnson returned to action for the first time in 10 months to face Strikeforce veteran Mike Kyle.
From the moment Anthony stepped on the scales at weigh-ins it was obvious he was in shape and prepared to do battle. Fight night was no different as Johnson came out right away and established himself as the aggressor. He patiently stalked Kyle around the cage in the opening moments, wearing him down with some thudding leg kicks. With his back to the fence Johnson began to engage and it only took one huge right hand to flatten Mike Kyle, putting him face down on the mat.
It was a devastating knockout victory for “Rumble” and it just happens to have come when he is at the end of his WSOF contract. A win like the one last night won’t hurt once Johnson as he heads into negotiations with the organization. Anthony Johnson may never return to the UFC. But, if he can thrive elsewhere, is there really anything wrong with that? Because being the king of a smaller hill is a lot better than constantly falling off the highest peak and not learning from your mistakes.
Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer