It’s not often you see a fight change without an injury, but for UFC 191’s case, it actually made the card much better. The Anthony Johnson vs Jan Blachowicz fight has been scrapped and from the ashes, two new light heavyweight bouts have been created. Anthony Johnson vs Jimi Manuwa, UFC 191 Coming off a loss in his light heavyweight title bout against Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson is looking to rebound. While Jan Blachowicz would have been a decent opponent, it was a bit unfair to Blachowicz to have such a step up in competition despite also coming off a loss (against Jimi Manuwa). Manuwa has only lost once in his UFC career and it was against current title challenger Alexander Gustafsson. He holds a 4-1 record in the promotion and has a bit of momentum following his close decision win over Blachowicz this past April. If he can defeat Johnson on the big stage, it could elevate Manuwa directly into the title mix considering the lack of truly top challengers in the division right now. Johnson is simply looking to rebound. He had Cormier hurt with his first big punch but wasn’t able to put him away and instead was outwrestled until he ran out of gas and was forced to submit via third round rear naked choke. Johnson had destroyed everyone he’d faced in the UFC light heavyweight division before the Cormier loss, including knockout victories over Gustafsson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira as well as a dominant decision over Phil Davis. He will likely be two impressive showings away from a title shot and will open as a significant favorite in this bout. Jan Blachowicz vs Corey Anderson, UFC 191 This is a much more reasonable opponent for Blachowicz. Anderson had some hype coming out of The Ultimate Fighter but that came crashing to a halt following his third round TKO loss to Gian Villante. Both Blachowicz and Anderson have one loss apiece in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and will be looking to return to form. I would expect this bout to primarily take place on the feet due to both men preferring to stand and trade in their recent bouts, although Anderson has a prior history of utilizing wrestling. Blachowicz has a solid ground game but hasn’t shown it thus far in the UFC as all his bouts have remained standing. It will be interesting to see if either man makes an adjustment to their style this time around. I would expect Blachowicz to open as a slight favorite against Anderson, but stranger things have happened and the public could still be behind the prospect.
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