Anthony “Rumble” Johnson: Top 5 MMA Finishes

Anthony Kewoa Johnson, (aka “Rumble”) born March 6, 1984, from Dublin, Georgia, USA, is a mixed martial artist with a record of 22-6 with 16 of those victories being via knockout.

Rumble was once ranked the no.1 UFC light heavyweight in 2015, going into UFC 187 for the vacant championship belt after Jon Jones was stripped of the title.

Johnson holds distinguished wins over fighters such as; Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Alexander Gustafsson and Antônio Rogério Nogueira. Rumble trained at the Blackzilians gym from 2011-2017, and is currently at the Combat Club, fighting out of Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

Johnson’s fight style is made up of powerful striking derived from his natural explosive athleticism built on the foundation of wrestling.

Rumble uses his wrestling background to dictate where the fight goes by preventing opponents from taking him down and withstanding his vicious onslaught, or to takedown the more technical strikers who struggle off their back.

Rumble’s MMA career is an incredible roller-coaster ride, with him looking almost unrecognizable today compared to the start of his combat career. This is highlighted with Johnson notching up wins from welterweight all the way to heavyweight with up to a 95-pound (44kg) difference in weight limit between the two divisions.

Johnson struggled making weight throughout his career, cutting too much until he found his footing in the light heavyweight division, collecting 5 Performance of the Night bonuses from his last 7 UFC fights.

After retiring in April 2017 after losing against Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight championship, Rumble is looking to return to the MMA world, making his return in Bellator’s light-heavyweight tournament against Yoel Romero.

With Rumble already holding victories over two of the tournament’s competitors, Phil Davis and former Bellator double champion, Ryan Bader, will Johnson be able to capture gold?

Rumble’s Top 5 finishes hold their own against any other fighter with his joint-fastest finish, 13 seconds, not making the list which only serves to exemplify his exceptional resumé. Now you have a background on Johnson’s career, let’s get into Rumble’s octagon-shaking, Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)

  1. Vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira – UFC on Fox 12 (July 26, 2014)

‘Rumble’ went into this fight against MMA legend and one half of the infamous Nogueira brothers, Antônio Rogério Nogueira. Johnson was on a 7-fight win streak and this was his second fight back in the UFC after being cut at UFC 142.

Nogueira, well-known for his fabled Jiu-Jitsu ability alongside his savvy boxing skills, didn’t seem to faze Rumble and, from the outset, he applied  pressure to the older Nogueira.

With just over 30 seconds in, Johnson lands a glancing left hook that sends Nogueira fleeing backwards towards the cage. Right after, Johnson lands a stiff, straight right, then unloads a barrage of signature uppercuts, landing a final incapacitating right uppercut just 44 seconds into the first round.

This quick night’s work earned Rumble his first performance bonus since returning to the UFC, winning $50,000 for this Knockout of the Night.

  1. Vs. Mike Kyle – WSOF 8 (Jan. 18, 2014)

This fight was Rumble’s return to light heavyweight after previously fighting and winning at heavyweight against former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski at WSOF2. Johnson was on a 5-fight win streak after he was cut from the UFC and wanted to build on this with his fight against Kyle.

Rumble opens up strong, throwing a head kick and begins to throw a variety of kicks to Kyle’s midsection and lead leg. To offset Rumble and his aggressive offense, Kyle catches a low kick and uses it to force Johnson up against the cage, however, Rumble is able to break the grip and exit the cinch, but Kyle lands a clean left hook as they exit.

Johnson once again tries to force the action and throws a low leg kick, which Kyle tries to counter by throwing a straight right, but the faster Rumble is able to connect first, with a ruthless left hook overhand right combination, separating Kyle from consciousness 2 minutes and 3 seconds into the first round.

This win gave Rumble his 6th straight win, earning him a call to return to the UFC, this time at light heavyweight.

  1. Vs. D.J. Linderman – WSOF 1 (Nov. 3, 2012)

With just over a minute and a half into the first round, Rumble fires a leg kick that takes Linderman’s base right from under him.

With this accomplished, Johnson fires another two sickening leg kicks to set up a fake low kick that Rumble sends high, narrowly missing.

Soon after, Johnson shoots for a single leg takedown and is able to successfully get Linderman to the ground, but is unable to control him for any notable length of time.

Rumble fires a knee and straight right that connect, however, he seemed to receive an eye poke, which referee, Herb Dean, did not deem an eye poke and encouraged Rumble to carry on.

Linderman, noticing Rumble’s discomfort, pounced on the opportunity and blitzed forward, only to be met by a thunderous straight-right walkaway knockout, 3 minutes, 58 seconds into the first round. Linderman had fallen on his face which was reminiscent of the infamous Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 boxing knockout.

  1. Vs. Kevin Burns 2 – TUF: Nogueira vs. Mir Finale (Dec. 13, 2008)

The second spot on this list is taken by Rumble’s immediate rematch with Kevin Burns, with Johnson controversially previously losing through TKO via eye poke. Rumble had tried to overturn the result which was rejected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Rumble came out looking for revenge, and both fighters started by exchanging leg kicks. As Burns tried to pressure Johnson, Rumble ducked under and dove into a double leg, taking Burns to the ground.

As Burns threatens an armbar from his back, Rumble stands and unleashes a hellish right that misses but lands him into side control.  Despite Rumble’s advantageous position, Burns clasps on an inverted triangle from the bottom, but Johnson is able to scramble out and into Burns’ guard.

The official, Mario Yamasaki stands the fighters up, and as Burns throws a leg kick, Johnson counters with a straight right flooring Burns. With under 10 seconds left in the round, Burns bursts forward, and Rumble lands a left and right hook that shakes his opponent.

The second round is a mirror image of the first, with both competitors opening up with a diverse range of kicks and Rumble taking Burns down – this time with a single leg. Rumble lands some vicious elbows inside Burns’ full guard and is able to outwork him, controlling him until the end of the round.

At around 20 seconds into the third round, Burns is caught by a left hook as he throws out a jab trailed by Rumble’s vengeance-infused, left high kick landing flush on Burns’ chin shutting his system down completely just 28 seconds into the third round.

This incredible head kick won Rumble the Knockout of the Night and a $25,000 bonus, making his revenge that much sweeter.

  1. Vs. Glover Teixeira – UFC 202 (Aug. 20, 2016)

The number one spot is held by Rumble’s joint-fastest finish against title contender Glover Teixeira in a championship eliminator fight, with the winner going on to challenge the then-champion Daniel Cormier.

The action begins with both fighters trying to take the centre of the octagon, with Rumble pumping out the jab, as Glover throws an overhand right followed by a left hook that misses its target.

This miss leaves Teixeira out of position, then Rumble fakes the jab getting a big reaction from Teixeira as he tries to duck the punch; however, he is brutally met by a devastating right uppercut through the guard shutting Glover’s lights out just 13 seconds into the first round.

This knockout won Johnson a $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus and a shot at the UFC light heavyweight championship.

So, there we have it, folks, 5 of Anthony Johnson’s best MMA finishes! With an outstanding record of 22 wins with 16 TKO/KO’s, do you think ‘Rumble’ will strike Bellator light heavyweight division gold – will he return as the same destructive K.O. force we remember?

What’s your favourite Rumble bout from the list above and which fighter should be KFK’d next? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram.

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Joe Petrozzi

Joe Petrozzi is currently studying Sports and Exercise Science in his final year at Staffordshire University. He is interested in all types of martial arts combat, and has been since a young age after his dad introduced him to MMA. He is specifically engrossed with the psychology of being a fighter and the mind of a combat athlete.

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