In January, not only did Anthony Johnson earn a title fight with Jones by defeating the highly regarded, Alexander Gustafsson, he did so in extremely memorable fashion. Due to what Johnson has showcased over the last couple of years–see his win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira–most fans and pundits knew that the light-heavyweight posed a real threat to Gustafsson’s title shot run. But, not too many people believed “Rumble” would need under three minutes to take out the now, former, #1 contender.
Well, clearly the renowned Jackson has been extremely impressed with what he’s seen out of Johnson, as in a recent interview with ESPN.com, Jones’ coach said the following:
“[Daniel] Cormier was knocking people around left and right, too, but as far as raw power, I don’t think anybody hits harder in the division than Johnson.”
“We’ve cornered against Johnson before, and he is such an impressive dude,” Jackson said. “His punch, good Lord, that thing hits hard. He is going to be a real challenge. That’s a loaded gun that can go off at any time.”
Now sure, Jones and his supporters would likely point out that the champ has faced heavy handed foes in the past, and cruised right through them. Glover Teixeira is obviously a very dangerous finisher, and Jones was able to pick him apart. “Bones” also holds wins over noted strikers like “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, “Shogun” Rua and Gustafsson, among others.
But, one could argue that Johnson is the most explosive and powerful of the bunch. What remains to be seen, however, is whether Johnson can battle through Jones’ various and dynamic attacks.
Jones-Johnson is expected to take place in May, but the UFC has not nailed down a specific date yet.