Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight smashing machine, Anthony Johnson, got poked in the eye during his light heavyweight main event showdown against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 14 last Sat. night (Jan. 24, 2015) in Stockholm, Sweden (watch it here).
He didn't get mad. He got even.
"Rumble" dropped the "The Mauler" on the restart and then preceded to crack his crown like a Swedish coconut. I'm not sure what referee Marc Goddard was waiting for in terms of calling the fight, but I'll bet Dan Henderson is wishing it was him -- and not Leon Roberts -- calling the shots in the co-main event.
As for Gustafsson, the official time was 2:15 of the very first frame (recap).
In victory, Johnson (18-4) records his thirteenth win by way of knockout/technical knockout. But more importantly, he vaults himself into a light heavyweight title fight against reigning 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones. Of course, it comes at the expense of sabotaging the rematch of the century in Jones vs. Gustafsson 2.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a cruel mistress.
That said, it's not like Gustafsson lost to a journeyman or came up lame in a fight he was supposed to win. Johnson was ranked No. 3 in the world and coming off a devastating knockout. He's going into a fight against Jones because he earned it, and because he clearly deserves to be there.
And with that kind of power...
The fact that he even made it this far is pretty remarkable. It wasn't that long ago when Johnson was knocking around regional punching bags in places like Kansas City, booted from the world's largest combat sports promotion for trying to starve himself down to 170 pounds.
Then when he finally did make it back to the promised land, he was suspended following accusations of domestic violence.
That case was dismissed and "Rumble" was reinstated. Now two weight classes heavier and training under the tutelage of famed stand-up wizard Henri Hooft inside the Blackzilians camp, the more mature, seasoned Johnson has evolved from power puncher to devastating striker.
With some pretty sneaky footwork.
What happens when they lock him inside the cage with Jones remains to be seen, but the fact that I'm not even that upset that Gustafsson no longer gets the next title shot indicates that Johnson has demonstrated enough heart -- and more importantly enough skill -- to make it a can't-miss fight.
And a victory would cap off what is arguably the greatest comeback story in the history of our sport.
For more results and fallout from UFC on FOX 14, be sure to hit up our "Gustafsson vs. Johnson" live story stream with videos, recaps, reactions, and a whole lot more, right here.