Anthony Johnson is a contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division after making his return to the Octagon after two years away. Johnson picked up a decision victory over Phil Davis Saturday at UFC 172, almost finishing him a number of times in the opening round.

With the win, Johnson (17-4) earned his seventh consecutive win. He fought previously at welterweight and middleweight, but decided 205 pounds was his division after being cut in 2012 following a loss to Vitor Belfort.

“This was a long road coming,” he said. “I trained really hard. Since I left, I’ve matured so much.”

Johnson also looked Octagon-side and personally thanked UFC president Dana White, adding, “that is the man who changed me. He turned me into a beast.”

“Rumble” picked up wins over the likes of Mike Kyle, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and Jake Rosholt, including four via finish to earn his return card.

Davis talked all week about facing Jon Jones for the UFC title, and Johnson didn’t let that slip by after the win.

“He said he was going to be talking to you (looking at Joe Rogan),” he said. “Guess what everybody? Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is in the middle.”