At UFC on Fox 14, Anthony Johnson dismantled the No. 1 contender in Alexander Gustafsson to earn the right to face light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
The one-sided affair took place in Gustafsson’s home country of Sweden. However, the Swede was brutally beaten and took damage to the point that the referee stopped the bout at two minutes, 15 seconds of the very first round. After the matchup, Gustafsson cried and expressed his disappointment in an interview with MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.
“I’m very down right now… He just caught me… He hit me good… He did what he had to do to win the fight. He was the better man today… I felt like I was in deep water. I’m just gonna take a few days off and recover. [Get] back to the gym, hit the bag and learn from my mistakes.”
Immediately following the matchup, the Twitter Universe exploded, starting off with UFC president Dana White’s announcement of a championship bout between the light heavyweight champion and Johnson.
— Dana White (@danawhite) January 25, 2015
It’s over! Anthony Johnson knocks out Alexander Gustafsson in the first round. Next up for Johnson… Jon Jones.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 25, 2015
— Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) January 25, 2015
Sick win tonight by Anthony Johnson #Rumble…earning every single step forward.
— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) January 25, 2015
In an interview with a panel of UFC on Fox analysts, Johnson commented on his defeat of Gustafsson and on his upcoming championship title fight against Jones.
“I was trying to knock his (Gustafsson) head off… He really didn’t hit me with anything. I think I was just in the zone, man… My mentality was to shut 30,000 people up… I was just laughing, because I was like, ‘You guys have no idea what’s about to happen…’ My goal is to win a title one day… We’re (the Blackzilians Camp) not satisfied until we have the title.”
However, Johnson’s next bout may prove to be a difficult one. He now faces a champion who has beaten former world title holders and made many of them look amateurish in the process. Jones is the longest-reigning light heavyweight champion of all time whom many consider to be the greatest fighter to ever step foot inside the Octagon.
Irrespective of the champion’s accolades and record-breaking performances, when they finally meet, rest assured, Johnson, will do his “best to finish Jon Jones.”
[Featured Image Courtesy of Esther Lin, MMA Fighting]