Alexander Gustafsson took a beating in Sweden. | Photo: Josh Hedges/UFC/Zuffa/Getty
Anthony Johnson mauled “The Mauler.”
Johnson put away Alexander Gustafsson with first-round punches in the UFC on Fox 14 headliner on Saturday at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, shocking nearly 30,000 Swedes in attendance. Gustafsson succumbed to an accumulation of blows 2:15 into round one, the decisive victory leaving “Rumble” as the No. 1 contender for Jon Jones and the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight crown.
Gustafsson (16-3, 8-3 UFC) could not keep the Blackzilians brute at bay. Johnson clipped the Swede with an overhand right that dropped him to a knee and then swarmed with crippling follow-up shots. He never afforded Gustafsson the opportunity to breathe, as he ripped into him with punches that ultimately drove him to all fours. From there, he let loose with further punishment. Referee Marc Goddard gave “The Mauler” every chance to recover, but one last right hand from Johnson snuck under Gustafsson’s armpit, snapped his head upward and led to the stoppage.
Johnson (19-4, 10-4 UFC) has rattled off nine consecutive wins.
Related » UFC on Fox 14 Play-by-Play
Mousasi Stops Reeling Henderson
In the middleweight co-main event, onetime Dream and Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi took out Dan Henderson with a right hand to the temple and follow-up punches. Henderson (30-13, 7-7 UFC) met an anticlimactic end 1:10 into round one, losing for the fifth time in six appearances.
Mousasi (36-5-2, 3-2 UFC) pawed with his jab and leg kicks, all while dodging the former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder’s famed right hand. Perhaps sensing that match was not going his way, Henderson lunged forward and absorbed a right cross to the side of the head. He staggered backward, ate another left hand and fell to the mat, where Mousasi met him with a quick burst of ground strikes. Though Henderson was clinging to one of the Dutchman’s legs, referee Leon Roberts had seen enough to call for the stoppage.
Bader Edges ‘Mr. Wonderful’
Power MMA Team export Ryan Bader recorded his fourth straight victory, as he eked out a split verdict against Phil Davis in a tightly contested clash at 205 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Bader (19-4, 12-4 UFC), who still has never lost a decision as a professional.
Davis (13-3, 9-3 UFC) enjoyed some success with his kicks, as he attacked the legs, body and occasionally the head. However, the lack of dimension to his game eventually caught up with him. Bader scored with overhand rights, mixed in jabs and left hooks and shut down all but one of Davis’ takedowns. By the close of round three, Davis wore significant damage to both eyes and also showed signs of fatigue, as the four-time NCAA All-American wrestler surrendered a takedown to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner in the waning seconds of the fight.
Sicilia Short Circuits Corassani
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 graduate Sam Sicilia delivered a one-punch knockout at the expense of Akira Corassani in the first round of their featherweight showcase. Sicilia (14-5, 4-4 UFC) ended it in decisive fashion 3:26 into round one, winning for the third time in five appearances.
Corassani (12-6, 3-3 UFC) probed with punches and kicks from the perimeter but made the mistake of exchanging with the brick-fisted Sikjitsu rep at close range. Sicilia ducked a punch from the Swede and answered with a ringing right hand on the ear. An unconscious Corassani collapsed to the canvas, where he was met with another right hand before referee Neil Hall could intervene.
The 32-year-old Corassani has lost three fights in a row.