UFC 172: Davis vs. JohnsonSaturday, April 26 – 11:00 p.m. ET
Phil Davis (12-1) vs. Anthony Johnson (16-4)Lightweight bout
Line: Davis -245, Johnson +197
Phil Davis looks to prove he is one of the top fighters in the world as he goes up against Anthony Johnson at UFC 172 on Saturday night.
Davis has not fought since Aug. 3, but he showed then that he has the potential to beat anybody. At that UFC 163 event, he was able to get a unanimous decision victory against Lyoto Machida. Even more impressive was the fact that it was in Machida’s backyard in Rio de Janeiro. Davis is a monster athlete that has the ability to beat his opponent in many different ways. He has the power to knock out his opponent, but also possesses the cardio and speed to wear his opponent out. He was called out by Dana White this past week and has given the indication that he is ready to roll in this fight. He will need to be, going up against a guy like Anthony Johnson, who also has the ability to end a match in electric fashion. Since falling in his last UFC bout on Jan. 14, 2012 to Vitor Belfort, Johnson has won his past six fights, and will be hungry to prove he belongs in the UFC. While he will give a game effort, Davis is too focused and too talented to let this opportunity pass him by. Look for DAVIS to come out and get a dominating victory.
Davis has 12 wins in his career, with half of them coming by way of decision. He also has four victories by submission and two wins by knockout, with four of those six finishes coming in the first round. When it comes to landing strikes, these two combatants are very close, as Davis delivers 3.07 significant strikes per minute, while Johnson lands 3.00. While these striking numbers are similar, they are doing it for different reasons. "Mr. Wonderful" uses his quickness on his strikes to constantly hit his opponent and wear him out throughout the fight, while Johnson is going for the knockout punch. Davis does a terrific job of avoiding big punches, defending 72 percent of his opponents’ striking attempts (Johnson has 60% defense). If the 29-year-old Davis is able to stay away from the knockout and use his athleticism -- he was a four-time All-American wrestler and national champion at Penn State -- Davis will be in great shape to get the win. However, if this turns into a slugfest, then Johnson will definitely have a chance to pull off the mild upset.
Johnson has 16 wins in his fighting career, with 11 of them coming by way of knockout. He also has five wins by decision, so he has shown the ability to go the distance in a fight as well. Johnson, who was also a national wrestling champion in college (Lassen Community College), will have an advantage when it comes to taking down his opponent, as he averages 3.17 takedowns, while Davis averages 2.67. Johnson is also a lot more accurate with his takedown attempts, completing 60% of his takedowns while Davis is only successful on 42% of his takedown tries. The 30-year-old Johnson, who is from Dublin, GA but now fights out of Boca Raton, FL, is a very powerful fighter that has the strength to match up with Davis. He has been given another chance in the UFC, and he must be ready to go from the very beginning if he is going to get the win.