Anthony Johnson shocked Sweden and their hometown fighter, earning a first-round technical knockout of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 14 in Stockholm early Sunday morning.
Johnson blasted Gustafsson with various punches en route to earning the stoppage at 2:15 of Round 1.
“Alex did everything that I thought he was gonna do. He’s an amazing athlete,” Johnson said during his post-fight interview. “I feel bad because he’s crying. I’m an emotional guy so I feel his pain.”
Johnson took the center of the Octagon in the early moments. Gustafsson circled and the two traded heavy blows before an inadvertent eye poke suffered by Johnson.
After the break in action, Johnson turned up the offense and swarmed in on Gustafsson. During a flurry, “Rumble” appeared to land a right hand that wobbled Gustafsson.
With his opponent against the fence, Johnson unleashed a barrage of punches and floored Gustafsson after landing several strikes. While controlling the back on the ground, Johnson landed a series of hammerfists before hitting his fallen foe with two vicious uppercuts. The referee stepped in to stop the bout thereafter.
With the win on Sunday, Johnson is now in position to fight light heavyweight champion Jon Jones this summer.
“Jon Jones, I hope you get well, brother,” he said. “Let’s get this championship fight on and make the crowd and the fans excited about this.”
A tentative date of July 11 will likely land the Jones-Johnson title fight in Las Vegas.