SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Anthony Johnson isn't just that guy who couldn’t make weight anymore. He's a serious threat in the light heavyweight division.
Johnson came out Saturday night and made extremely quick work of durable veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira with a 44-second TKO. Nogueira had only been finished once previously, back in 2007 against Sokoudjou in PRIDE.
Johnson wobbled Nogueira in the opening seconds, driving Lil' Nog up against the fence. There, Johnson completely destroyed him. A pair of uppercuts collapsed Nogueira to the canvas as referee Herb Dean came in to stop it. It was quick, vicious and brutal.
In his last fight, Johnson (18-4) dominated Phil Davis in a unanimous decision victory. But before that, "Rumble" was toiling in World Series of Fighting, hoping for another shot in the UFC. He was cut in 2012, because he couldn’t make weight at 170 or 185 pounds.
"I have been down a pretty crazy road," Johnson said. "The story of me is pretty out there."
It's safe to say Johnson has found his true weight class at 205. He came into this fight ranked No. 5 among UFC light heavyweight contenders and this victory only solidifies that spot. Johnson was greater than a 5-to-1 favorite against Nogueira, for good reason. But beating him so devastatingly is still an impressive feat.
Nogueira (21-6) had not fought in more than a year, but was on a two-fight winning streak with a win against Rashad Evans under his belt. At 38, it's unclear how much longer he'll be fighting. If he does decide to call it a career, he'll be remembered as a legend in the sport.
Anthony Johnson (right) has won his last eight fights.