Anthony Johnson upset the party tonight in Stockholm, Sweden as he TKO’d hometown hero Alexander Gustafsson in the first round to all but guarantee he gets the next shot at Jon Jones light-heavyweight title.
The main event of the evening is underway and the atmosphere is electric courtesy of a sea of Swedish fans. Gustafsson with a leg kick to start. Johnson prowling and lands one of his own.
Johnson trades heavy leather, but gets caught with a punch from Gustafsson. Head kick attempt from Johnson is blocked.
Gustafsson starting to work a lengthy jab now. Unfortunate eye poke stops Johnson for a moment, but he’s ok. Front kick attempt from Gustafsson and Johnson blasts him with a punch that rocks Gustafsson and puts him down to one knee.
Gustafsson back on his feet and backing up as Johnson follows him around the Octagon. ‘Rumble’ starts blasting away with big shots and the Swedish star is in real trouble here as he tries to regain his bearings under fire.
Huge torque on Johnson’s punches and Gustafsson drops to the canvas. He’s turtled on his knees and Johnson is landing some hard ground and pound looking for the finish. Gustafsson’s moving just enough to keep the ref at bay for now, but this one could be stopped at any moment.
Another big blow lands for Johnson rocking Gustafsson’s head and that’s it, the referee has seen enough and ends the fight. Johnson just silenced this massive Swedish crowd completely while undoing hopes of a long anticipated title rematch between Jones and Gustafsson.
However, with that ferocious display of punching power and aggression Johnson just established himself as a legitimate threat to the champion’s long title reign and that’s an encounter no fight fan will want to miss.
What a remarkable reversal in fortunes this is for ‘Rumble’ who, back in 2012, was released from the UFC for continually failing to make the welterweight limit, yet a few years later has now just booked himself a title shot at light-heavyweight.