UFC 172 tale of the tape: Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson

The new breed of MMA fighter has arrived. They’re athletic, they’re prolific, and two of them are Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis.

These two mixed martial artists will face off on the co-feature of UFC 172. And both can’t seem to wait for their next fight.

Davis, from Harrisburg, PA, was a four-time Division I All-American wrestler. The broad-shouldered light heavyweight racked up a breathtaking 116-15 record while at Penn State, and he also has a Purple Belt in BJJ. His success as a mixed martial artist is almost a given, thanks to his impressive credentials, but the 12-1 MMA fighter has earned it all the way.

Davis, 29, is often criticized for his conservative style. 7 of his 14 fights have gone to the scorecards, including his victories over Lyoto Machida, Brian Stann, “Little Nog”, and Vinny Maghalaes. Two of Davis’ key standout wins came by submission over Alexander Gustafsson and Tim Boetsch.

His sole loss came against Rashad Evans in 2011. Evans controlled the fight and managed to shutout Davis, proving the top prospect wasn’t yet ready for the elite 205-pounders in MMA.

Johnson, 29, and also 6’2, is functionally a striker. His highlight reel is full of knockouts of names such as Mike Pyle, David Branch, and Charlie Brenneman. He also has decision victories over Andrei Arlovski and Dan Hardy. He was dropped by the UFC for failing to make the welterweight and middleweight limits on multiple occasions, which, quite frankly, were not suitable divisions for Johnson.

The “Blackzilian” MMA fighter will be looking to make an impact when he squares up against Davis at UFC 172. Rumble will have the advantage striking wise during his next fight, so it’s a safe conclusion that Davis will be tossing him down as early as possible. Johnson’s lesser capabilities on the ground might, just might, be his downfall. But putting him on his back is a lot easier said than done.

Barring a knockout by Johnson, your safest pick would be Phil Davis to win his next fight by decision, but a submission is possible. We’ll have to see on fight night!

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