Johnson vs. Yoshida
A featured bout at UFC 104 on Saturday is between UFC welterweights Anthony Johnson and Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
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Johnson enters the fight as the favorite with a betting line of -300 with Yoshida given a line of +220 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the
Anthony Johnson (7-2):
Strengths: Johnson is still inexperienced but has shown a lot of raw athleticism that has people believing he could be a future champion. One of his two losses was a controversial decision to Kevin Burns when Johnson couldn’t continue after being poked in the eye. Johnson got a rematch with Burns and promptly knocked him out with a head kick. Johnson has explosive strikes with a fast motor, allowing him to push a pace that many other fighters can’t keep up with.
Weaknesses: Johnson has shown an inability to defend submissions on the ground. His first MMA loss was a submission loss to Rich Clementi. Johnson has been working on his ground game though to not be so one-dimensional, as was displayed in a TKO win over Luigi Fioravanti last February.
Last Five Fights:
First round TKO win over Luigi Fioravanti at UFC Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7, 2009
Third round KO win over Kevin Burns at Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale on Dec. 13, 2008
Third round TKO loss to Kevin Burns at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008
First round KO win over Tom Speer at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2, 2008
Second round submission loss to Rich Clementi at UFC 76 on Sept. 22, 2007
Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-3):
Strengths: Yoshida has went to a decision just two times in his career as “Zenko” likes to throw fists and keep fights exciting. Yoshida likes to stand up, but also has slick submission skills, as seen in his last fight, a first round choke out of Brandon Wolff at UFC 98. In three UFC fights, Yoshida has not gone past 2:24 into the first round.
Weaknesses: Yoshida’s style leaves him open to be knocked out, which is what happened against Josh Koscheck last December. Yoshida was blasted by Koscheck and knocked out cold for his first loss in three years. Yoshida is also not a very big 170-pound fighter, which can be a problem with takedown defense. In this fight Yoshida will also be the slower fighter, which is something he is not used to.
Last Five Fights:
First round submission win over Brandon Wolff at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009
First round KO loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC Fight for the Troops on Dec. 10, 2008
First round submission win over War Machine at UFC 84 on May 24, 2008
Second round DQ win over Dan Harday at GCM 5 on Dec. 1, 2007
First round TKO win over Akira Kikuchi at GCM 4 on Sept. 8, 2007
Who will win: These two have similar styles, but Johnson’s striking is more dangerous, which is why he is favored to win. In order for Yoshida to win, he needs to get the fight to the ground where he can expose Johnson’s weak submission defense. I see this fight not lasting long though, as Yoshida will have to exchange early and Johnson will land a big punch that will lead to a TKO finish in the first round from strikes.
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Posted: 10/22/09 11:25PM ET