Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) fight during their light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Cormier won via third round TKO. REUTERS/Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson bounced back nicely from his recent light heavyweight title defeat opposite Daniel Cormier by flooring Jimi Manuwa in the second round of their bout at UFC 191 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The top-ranked light heavyweight contender actually looked sloppy in the first round, missing on his usual powerful punches as both fighters looked tentative from the get-go. That display actually earned a chorus of boos from the crowd which could not hide its anxiousness and discontent.

The 31-year-old Johnson quickly got back the spectators’ admiration when he floored Manuwa just 28 seconds into the second round with a vicious punch that immediately sent the British fighter defenceless on the floor. “Rumble” quickly capitalized on the shell-shocked opponents, went on top of him, unleashed a flurry of punches that prompted the referee to step in and stop the fight. After the bout, Johnson credited much of his one-punch power to muscle memory and inherent DNA.

“Yeah, that’s just muscle memory, we don’t really train that,” Johnson said post-fight to Yahoo Sports. “I guess it’s in my DNA, I don’t know.”

Johnson’s combination of leg kicks and successive punches kept Manuwa’s defence guessing as an opening on the right side eventually helped land the decisive blow to the right side of his chin. He tried to end the fight in the opening salvo but found little success as he resorted to wrestling manoeuvres.

The strategy proved to be futile as Johnson slowed down and brought back flashbacks of his disappointing showing against Cormier last May when he was aggresive on the onset but faltered in the end. Apparently, the in-between round rest was all he needed to finish off the up-and-coming knockout artist in Manuw, whom he showered with praises after the bout.

“I have nothing but respect for Jimi; he’s going to go a long way. I want the title, and I’m going to keep on fighting until I get it. Whoever the UFC gives me, I’m going to keep on knocking them down,” Johnson added.

Watch the short clip of the devastating Johnson punch that floored Manuwa:


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