Friday, February 13, 2009

Post Ultimate Fight Night 17 Notes

Originally posted on

Anthony Johnson defeated Luigi Fioravanti via TKO (strikes) at 4:39 of round 1

Johnson looked good in this fight, with a variety of strikes, especially nice kicks for power off his front leg, which you don't see a lot of in MMA. Usually guys either throw slapping ineffective kicks off their front leg (I'm looking at you, Ryo Chonan) or the somewhat slower and more telegraphed traditional thai roundhouse kicks off the back leg. Johnson is no crocop, but his lead leg kicks had some snap on them, and it's an excellent use of his frame. The guy's upper body looks like he should be 5'10” or so, so those extra 4” that put him to 6'2” are all in his super-long stilt legs.

Luigi just couldn't overcome the reach disadvantage—although tried gamely to work himself in and out with fancy footwork, he just wasn't sharp enough to get inside of Anthony's strikes and Anthony throws with too much power for Luigi to just walk through them. Johnson doesn't throw in combinations, just looking for that one big shot. He does have one-hitter-quitter level power, but he's going to need to sharpen up if he's not going to wear himself out or get countered against a more technically skilled striker. Hopefully he can get some more time to work on his skills before he gets eaten up by someone like a Thiago Alves or Jon Fitch. Seems like a classy and well-spoken guy on the microphone as well, which is nice.

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