Don't Trust the Experts

A quick survey of social media after the Alexander Gustafsson/Anthony "Rumble" Johnson fight reveals the majority of fans were shocked by the 1st-round TKO by "Rumble". And it makes sense considering many "experts" on this very site, Bloody Elbow, and Bleacher Report were in-harmony predicting a late Gustafsson TKO or decision victory.

These experts probably saw "The Mauler" had only lost by decision (a close one at that) to Jon Jones and by submission to Phil Davis in his career. So after just one peek at Gustafsson's 16-2 record before the fight, yeah, that was a safe prediction.

However, many of these "experts" simultaneously didn't look deep enough or basic enough for their predictions, leading to the wrong prediction for this fight.

Looking at Johnson's 18-4 record going in compared to the earlier-mentioned 16-2, Gustafsson should be favored. A closer analyzation of the record (which many probably didn't do since some of it happened outside the UFC's border) reveals what should have been a toss-up at worse for Johnson.

Since moving up from the middleweight division during his stint at Titan Fighting Championship, he has been on an absolute tear. After a catchweight bout at 195 lbs with current World Series of Fighting Champion Middleweight Champion David Branch(which "Rumble" won), he alternated between heavyweight and light-heavyweight before his 2nd-stint in the UFC, where he settled into the 205 lbs (light-heavyweight) divison.

He's beaten at light-heavyweight, in the order he finished them:

The Nogueira and Kyle fights lasted combined less than three minutes. The Phil Davis fight went to a decision but Johnson dominated that fight (as shown by it being unanimous).If he hadn't cut so much weight for those four middleweight/welterweight losses, it's a fair bet that Johnson wouldn't have lost those fights. I'd say Johnson's recent history at his proper weight class is more impressive than Gustafsson's body of work.

Even without an in-depth analysis of Johnson's record, you would think more of these "experts" would have just gone off the eyeball-test of the fighters.

Gustafsson looks athletic enough. He's a solid 6'5" with an astounding 79 in. reach. His height prohibits him from packing a lot of show-muscle on his frame but he's a great (if not the greatest) boxer in the light-heavyweight division.

But, still. Look at Johnson.

He may only be 6'2" but he's got muscles for days. He's the kind of athlete whose mucles have little muscles on them. He physically looks like the more imposing fighter. He doesn't need Gustafsson's skilled boxing technique, not with that power in his right hand.

Johnson is the kind of fighter who probably walks around at 220/230 lbs and can easily fight at heavyweight (as he did when he won against Andrei Arlovski). By him coming down to 205 lbs, he's all muscle and heart for his fights. Gustafsson doesn't possess "Rumble's" frame and can't hope to. This fight seemed like a no-brainer on almost all levels.

I predicted Johnson would win.

I was surprised I was (seemingly) the only one on the Interweb. I almost second-guessed myself. After all, I'm just a humble fan who doesn't watch most UFC events (but all the WSoF ones).

But, I got it right. So kids, don't trust the experts. Trust your instincts and look at both the record closely and the physical matchup.

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\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.