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Anthony “Rumble” Johnson packs a punch. Anyone who has ever climbed into the Octagon with him – including UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier – will attest to that.
Johnson is arguably the hardest puncher in the UFC, and his record proves it. Of his 19 career victories, 13 have come via knockout. In the UFC, eight of his 10 wins are via KO, with seven coming in the first round.
A former junior college national wrestling champion, Johnson is in his second turn in the UFC after struggling to make weight as a middleweight and finally being released by the organization in2012.
Since his return in April 2014, Johnson has become one of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division. He scored wins over Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira before his scintillating first-round KO of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night Stockholm earned him a title shot.
That victory was impossible to ignore. As UFC president Dana White said later, “I never in a million years would believe that a guy who fought at 170 pounds could knock out 205-pounders. No way.”
Johnson, a member of the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Fla., was expected to fight Jon Jones at UFC 187. But when Jones was stripped of his title, Cormier asked for and received the opportunity to fight for the belt.