5 Reasons to Watch: FOX UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Johnson
The next contender at 205 pounds will be determined this weekend as No. 1-ranked Alexander Gustafsson looks to secure his long awaited rematch with lightweight champion Jon Jones. But to earn that shot, Gustafsson has to go through No. 3-ranked knockout artist Anthony Johnson.
FOX UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Johnson goes down on Saturday from Stockholm, Sweden, with the two light heavyweights facing off in a five-round main event with the winner getting a shot at gold. The prelims start at 5 p.m. ET and can be seen on FOX Sports 1. The main card kicks off on FOX at 8 p.m.
Both Gustafsson and Johnson have looked tremendous of late, so this fight should be a crowd pleaser when they hit the cage.
Also on the card, multi-weight class legend Dan Henderson returns to 185 pounds where he faces former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi in the co-main event.
Henderson and Mousasi are both coming off recent losses, so these two will definitely look to bring fireworks to ensure a second consecutive defeat doesn’t get tacked onto their record.
To help get ready for this weekend’s card, we’re going to give you five good reasons to make sure you tune in to watch FOX UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Johnson.
Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 is only five rounds away
Alexander Gustafsson has plenty on the line when he steps into the Octagon to face Johnson in the main event. He’s fighting at home in Sweden with more than 25,000 fans expected in attendance. He’s in the main event against another top-ranked light heavyweight.
But maybe most importantly, he’s five rounds and 25 minutes away from a potential rematch with UFC champion Jon Jones.
Gustafsson gave Jones everything he could handle and more during their first fight in 2013, and the bout was so close many scored the Swede getting victory when it was over. The judges ultimately gave Jones the nod, but Gustafsson now knows he has the chops to take the belt away from the champion if he gets a second shot.
To get there, Gustafsson has to find a way through Johnson on Saturday, but a win will put him right back in the crosshairs of another title fight and a chance to avenge his previous loss to Jones later this year.
Don’t blink or you might miss an Anthony Johnson KO
Anthony Johnson might be new to the ranks of the elite light heavyweights in the world, but he’s no stranger to big knockouts when it comes to his entire UFC career. At one time not long ago, Johnson was a welterweight (as crazy as that sounds), but his prowess for separating opponents from their consciousness has been a gift he’s possessed no matter what division he was fighting in.
Johnson has more sub-one minute knockouts than any fighter in UFC history with four, including his last victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira last July. Johnson has some of the heaviest hands in the division and possibly the biggest one-punch knockout power of any fighter at 205 pounds currently.
He also has the highest knockdown rate of any fighter in the 205-pound division currently, and he’s fifth overall on the entire UFC roster.
In other words, when Johnson starts swinging those sledgehammers he calls arms, watch closely, because Gustafsson could be staring up at the lights in a matter of seconds.
Legends never die: Dan Henderson steps back in the Octagon
At 44 years of age, Dan Henderson just finds a new way to rejuvenate himself whenever he steps back into the Octagon. Henderson has been a mainstay of high-level MMA competition for nearly 18 years. This weekend he’ll compete in his 43rd professional bout.
Henderson has done almost everything a fighter can do in a career. He’s been a champion at both light heavyweight and middleweight. He was a two-weight class champion at the same time while he was competing in PRIDE. He’s a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. Henderson has been around so long he even won an old school UFC middleweight tournament back in 1998.
This weekend, Henderson embarks on another run in the middleweight division. He was once the top contender at 185 pounds and appeared to be on his way back there again during his last stint with the UFC. As a matter of fact, the last time Henderson fought at middleweight in the Octagon was back at UFC 100 when he flat-lined Michael Bisping with his signature right hand, aptly named "The H-Bomb."
Henderson will have his hands full with Gegard Mousasi, but there’s no doubt whenever this icon of the Octagon is fighting, it’s must-see TV.
Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader: Part 2
Long before Phil Davis and Ryan Bader were top 10-ranked light heavyweights, they were both collegiate wrestlers at the pinnacle of the sport. Davis was one of the best in the world while he was at Penn State University, including a 2008 NCAA national title in wrestling at 197 pounds.
Davis was a four-time All-American and regarded as one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of the Penn State program. Bader was no slouch during his days wrestling at Arizona State University as a former All-American as well, but there’s one loss on his record that sticks out going into the fights this weekend.
During the 2004-2005 wrestling campaign while Bader was in his senior season, he met Davis in his first year as a starter for the Penn State wrestling team. Bader was ranked No. 7 in the country at the time, and he faced Davis in the second round of the NCAA national tournament. Davis trumped Bader that day by a score of 3-1.
Davis went on to get his first All-American nod that year while Bader had to go home empty-handed after finishing outside of the top eight in the tournament. Now 10 years later, Bader has a chance at redemption when he faces Davis for a second time with UFC bragging rights on the line as well as moving one step closer to a potential title shot in the next year.
The next Russian to watch
The Russian invasion of the UFC has been well documented over the past couple of years with fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rustam Khabilov rising up the ranks.
The next person to watch in 2015 competes in Saturday’s and his name is Albert "Einstein" Tumenov.
While his UFC career started out with a split decision loss to Brazilian Ildemar Alcantara, Tumenov has powered back in his last two fights with skull-splitting results. He knocked out Anthony Lapsley with a punch in his second UFC fight before landing a "Knockout of the Year" candidate when he put away Matt Dwyer with a head kick/punch combination last October.
Tumenov has trained extensively in boxing and is a two-time gold medalist in the hand-to-hand Russian combat championships. If Tumenov can put on the same kind of performance this weekend against Nico Musoke that he’s had in his last two fights, look out. This is one Russian on the rise, and the rest of the welterweight division should be fearful of his arrival.
To make sure you catch all of the action from FOX UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Johnson, check out our viewing and schedule guide for everything going down in Stockholm, Sweden.