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Gallery: Nine GIFs of Anthony Johnson Being Awesome

(Anthony Johnson vs. Charlie Brenneman)

With knockout power in all four limbs, Anthony Johnson is one of the most athletic and explosive fighters in the UFC. (He said it, so it’s okay for us to say it too.) Now testing his fate at middleweight — arguably a much more natural weight class for him — Rumble will face Vitor Belfort in the co-main event of UFC 142 this Saturday. Will his power be even scarier at 185? Check out some animated highlights from his UFC career, which continue after the jump, and let us know what you think.

(Johnson vs. Brenneman, reverse angle)

(Johnson vs. Tommy Speer)

(Johnson vs. Chad Reiner)

(Johnson vs. Kevin Burns)

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linmmqq- January 12, 2012 at 9:43 am
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Mofo- January 12, 2012 at 12:02 am
@skeletor - Yes, it's true. Vagina were invented.
Mofo- January 12, 2012 at 12:02 am
@mcw89138 - I appreciate the fact that you care about the actual sport. And I thank you for that soporific writing, I was having trouble getting to sleep tonight. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Holy shit who ARE all these people?
fxdfp- January 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm
At fight time Anthony will balloon up to 210lbs or something close to his walk around weight of 220 - It's a lose lose situation for Johnson. If he wins it was because he's so much bigger than Vitor, if he loses, he lost to the smaller guy...
Todd M- January 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm
@ mcw89138, I think you make great points
@ joelforsyth, I think you make funny joke and great points.
mcw89138- January 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm
@ Null Kuhl - you're absolutely right that a lot of fighters simply don't listen to what their trainers are telling them. After Cotto's recent win over Margarito in boxing, Cotto's former trainer, Evangelista, did an interview in which he said the only difference between the first fight in which Cotto lost and the second one in which he won was that in the second fight, he finally executed the same game plan that was originally given to him for the first fight.

@ Joel - Vitor has exceptionally fast hands, coupled with a very straight delivery. The perfect, straight punch should look like you're swinging a hammer or hacking with a machete, and Vitor has that picturesque, straight elbow movement - very similar to the textbook straight rights Marquez lands on Pacquiao. For a wrestler like Rumble, straight punches are much more dangerous than looping ones because you can't duck under them as well for a takedown. Rumble needs to be very careful shooting for a takedown because his head is going to be vulnerable to a straight counter punch. One skill Vitor lacks is effective striking while in moving backwards or to his sides (in all of his knockouts he's pressing forward to some extent), so Rumble should either limit his takedowns to against the cage or set them up by throwing kicks and then clinching or shooting while Vitor is in retreat. Rumble should watch the late Vernon Forrest's wins over Shane Mosley for insight on how to keep a guy with fast hands off balance and to launch effective attacks from angles and with your opponent moving laterally or backwards.
Fletch the V Stretch- January 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm
@Joel: You obviously haven't seen his KO of Matt Lindland. I honestly thought he knocked Lindland into a permanent state of retardation. I am serious, go watch the old footage. Lindland tries fighting refs, his teammates, the ropes, etc. He spent about 3 minutes trying to get up but it was like his head weighed 200lbs bc he couldn't lift it off the canvas.
joelforsyth- January 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm
@Fletch Vitor's highlight consists of hitting Rich Franklin and Akiyama behind the ear and a 15 year old KO of Wanderlei.
Null Kuhl- January 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm
Since I don't actually know what constitutes the "peek-a-boo guard", I am going to retract my earlier statements and concede that you probably have a good point. There is no doubt that there are plenty of instances where fighters just surround themselves with "yes" men. I wonder how often it's just a matter of the fighters not listening to their trainers, though. Take Leonard Garcia, for instance - Greg Jackson has said multiple times that he tries to get Leonard to stick to a game plan, but it's nearly impossible. Some guys just don't seem to be able to fight intelligently.
mcw89138- January 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm
@ Null Kuhl - I agree those are common sense points, but you'd actually be surprised how little common sense, tactical info gets to some fighters. I've heard this first-hand from numerous guys inside the camps of MMA fighters and boxers. An example from MMA is when GSP started doing sessions with Freddie Roach in prep for Koscheck, Roach showed GSP the most basic striking concepts and gave him some elementary, common sense tips and pointers that GSP probably could have pulled off youtube or your average message board, yet incredibly, this was all brand-new stuff to him. Sometimes fighters need to step out of their usual domains and way from their paid "yes" men and friends and have someone communicate to them the most basic points that are probably on the minds of the average fan yet are not getting across to them (i.e., Jorge Gurgel and Gab Gonzaga - stop trying to stand and bang and start using your bjj, Arthur Abraham - learn to roll with punches instead of using the peek-a-boo guard, etc.).
skeletor- January 10, 2012 at 11:39 am
I don't know how aj isn't the most popular fighter around here since beating brenneman who most of you fucking idiots claimed was the best thing since vagina were invented.
TheWarsawExpress- January 10, 2012 at 10:40 am
I am betting that Rumble is planning to trade with Vitor. Somebody is getting knocked out!
Null Kuhl- January 10, 2012 at 10:36 am
mcw89138 - Cool story, bro. You should totally call him up and let him know your thoughts. I bet none of his coaches, training partners, friends, family, acquaintances, ice-cream store clerks, long-lost adopted brothers, 3rd grade teachers or high school crushes thought of any of those things.
Fletch the V Stretch- January 10, 2012 at 10:29 am
@Onan: Notice that second GIF? That is what happened to Tommy Speer. He took his ass beating and went home never to fight again.
Fletch the V Stretch- January 10, 2012 at 10:24 am
Where are the 9 GIF's of Vitor being awesome?
mcw89138- January 10, 2012 at 9:31 am
Rumble needs to be cautious of Vitor's hand speed and his ability to close the gap in the blink of an eye. The best way for Rumble to avoid those things will be to make sure he doesn't stand with his shoulders square to Vitor, to stay right outside Vitor's range, and to stand at 11 or 1 o'clock instead of right in front of Vitor. Rumble should watch Mike Tyson's knockdown of Buster Douglas for a lesson in what can happen if you face an opponent with fast hands squarely for even a split second. Rumble should also look for takedowns against the cage instead of the middle of the octagon to avoid getting caught by Vitor's fast hands. Vitor's downfall is his emotional resilience - in the past, he would become frustrated and lose focus if the fight didn't go his way early. I think the key to victory for Rumble is to frustrate and to wear Vitor down with his wrestling and his superior athleticism.
bgaspar_00- January 10, 2012 at 9:28 am
Beware the left head kick of Anthony apparently...
Yazloz18- January 10, 2012 at 9:22 am
9 gifs of Anthony Johnson outweighing his opponents by 40+ pounds
Boo- January 10, 2012 at 8:39 am
I remember I picked Tommy Speer to win in that fight too.... :embarrassed:
Onan- January 10, 2012 at 8:18 am
Whatever happened to Tommy Speer? He was supposed to be the next big thing right?
Kaboom82- January 10, 2012 at 8:12 am
8 gifs of Anthony Johnson preventing UFC careers, and one of him beating up Dan Hardy.