Back in 2012, Anthony Johnson was hit with a dose of reality. He was submitted by Vitor Belfort and released from the UFC after coming in almost 12 pounds over for the fight.

Since that time, though, Johnson has won each of his last six fights and earned another shot at competing inside the Octagon. He’ll meet Phil Davis in the =”” target=”_blank”>UFC 172 co-main event Friday night from Baltimore.

For Johnson (16-4), all the pressure that he used to be filled with went out the window with the Belfort bout.

“I think the last time I felt pressure for a fight was with Vitor,” he told “Ever since then, I haven’t felt any pressure. Pressure and being nervous kind of went out the winder after I fought Vitor. I decided to really not care about that stuff and give it my all even more and stop listening to the critics and to what people had to say.

“Niney-percent of the time, what people had to say was negative. I just got to the point where I had to believe in myself.”

Johnson earned knockout victories over Mike Kyle, D.J. Linderman, Jake Rosholt and Esteves Jones after his release, bouncing around several different weight classes and promotions. When he was first with the UFC, “Rumble” went 7-4 with wins over Dan Hardy, Charlie Brenneman and Kevin Burns.

“I didn’t know if I would be back, and I knew where i belonged,” he said. “Wherever I was at though, I was grateful for being there.”

Johnson and the rest of the UFC 172 card will step on the scale for the official weigh-ins later today. FightLine will have complete coverage of the proceedings, along with all the fight-night action. Johnson missed weight three times during his first stint with the promotion.