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UFC on Fox 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson results and post-fight analysis

Mookie Alexander recaps UFC on Fox 14 in Stockholm, Sweden, where Anthony Johnson shocked the partisan crowd with his 1st round TKO over Alexander Gustafsson in the main event.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC on Fox 14 provided plenty of thrills throughout the night -- actually, very early in the morning if you're a Swede -- but the 2nd largest ever attendance in UFC history left disappointed and saddened after the main event. Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson were vying to be the next opponent for light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and Johnson just had his way with Gustafsson. The stoppage was late and I tend to think that this was solely because Gustafsson got the "hometown" benefit. Otherwise, he was badly hurt by Rumble's lethal punches and he was helpless towards the end when Rumble treated his prone skull like a bobblehead. Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson is up next, and that's probably going to be a way more competitive fight than Jones vs. Cormier.

Before I get to more analysis for this fight and the rest of the card, let me just say that Joe Rogan turned in possibly the worst commentary I've ever heard from him. His repeated questioning of the Andy Ogle/Makwan Amirkhani stoppage was bad enough when presented with evidence that Ogle was fighting the ref and wobbly when he got up, but he ruined the post-fight interview for Amirkhani. There was no need to turn an interview with a newcomer who scored an 8 second TKO into a Q&A over the legitimacy of what looked to be a perfectly fine stoppage. Rogan even uttered "Most people thought the stoppage was premature" as if he polled the audience during the commercial break. He repeated this in the Dan Henderson/Gegard Mousasi bout and cited Edgar vs. Maynard 2 was an example for not stopping fights too soon. For someone who lectured Brendan Schaub for 2 hours on his own podcast over brain damage and the effects of excessive punishment, Rogan pulled an all-timer of a 180 tonight.

Main Card

  • It was sad to see Gustafsson crying in his corner after the fight was over. Just think of what has happened over the course of the past year. He went from a rematch with Jones on September 2014 to getting injured, bumped from his #1 contender spot, and with the chance to reclaim his spot as #1 contender he was blasted with strikes in front of his raucous supporters. He's a damn good fighter and I'm sure he'll stick around as a top guy, but this was devastating.
  • Anthony Johnson's KO power is outrageous. The improvement in his game has been phenomenal and he just demolished a recent title challenger in the prime of his career in emphatic fashion. All skepticism over how good he really is has been removed.
  • Don't think of the Dan Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi stoppage as "early". Consider it a way to prevent a sad and predictable outcome become even sadder. I personally don't want to see Dan Henderson fight anymore, and tonight was another one of those instances. The Fox studio panel of Daniel Cormier and Brian Stann both concurred that it's time for Henderson to hang up the gloves. Let's put it this way, if Henderson keeps getting booked, I'll watch because it's my job, but not because I'm actively interested in seeing him ever again.
  • Ryan Bader beat Phil Davis, and neither one of them is getting anywhere near a title shot for as long as Jon Jones is champion. The UFC may very well just cut Davis if he loses his next fight (which would drop him to 1-3 in his last 4), because he is just about the promotion's equivalent to what Jon Fitch was for years.
  • It's time to pull the plug on the Akira Corassani show. He's 32 and this is his 8th year as a professional. Not only is he not getting any better as a fighter, but he's getting absolutely crushed when he loses, and this is 3rd straight defeat by (T)KO. Sam Sicilia shutting his lights off likely nets him an unwanted pink slip.

Kid Nate and Zane Simon provided their post-fight analysis of UFC on Fox 14 as well, over on the 6th Round:


  • Albert Tumenov did a terrific job adjusting after absorbing many a body kick thrown by Nico Musoke in the 1st round. He's a very skilled boxer and he demonstrated improved takedown defense to seal the victory. Tumenov called out Rick Story for his next fight, but I'm not too sure the UFC will push him that far up the ladder.
  • Kenny Robertson has quietly won 3 straight after his surprise knockout of Sultan Aliev. At a minimum, he's a quality gatekeeper in a stacked welterweight division and a tough out for damn near anyone.
  • Anthony Christodoulou was apparently Greece's fighter of the year in 2013. What a ringing endorsement for Greek MMA. Mairbek Taisumov is a lethal offensive fighter, but even on short notice, Christodoulou had no business being in the same hemisphere with Taisumov, and nothing he showed suggests he's going to be sticking around in the UFC much longer.
  • Mirsad Bektic tore Paul Redmond to shreds, which was expected because Bektic is a really good prospect and Redmond both missed weight and took this fight on short notice. My main gripe is the fact that two judges scored the fight 30-27 when Redmond had 0 takedowns and landed 7 strikes (to Bektic's 135). That's pure domination and the 30-25 card best reflected the nature of the fight.
  • Konstantin Erokhin ain't the future of the heavyweight division. He looked absolutely hopeless after he couldn't KO Viktor Pesta within the first 2 minutes. This is partially tongue-in-cheek but it's also serious - Jon Jones is MMA's best heavyweight prospect, and he's also 6 years younger than Erokhin. Who is the actual best HW prospect on the UFC roster? Probably Ruslan Magomedov.
  • I applaud the judges who scored the 2nd round of Neil Seery/Chris Beal for Seery. Beal offered next to nothing while in top position and was getting cracked with plenty of elbows from the bottom by Seery, who also threatened Beal with a couple of submission attempts. Score one for the "if you're on top, you're winning" detractors.

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