Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) put on an absolute thriller of an event on FOX last evening (Sat., Jan. 24, 2015), but you wouldn't know it from the silenced Swedish crowd as all of their hometown heroes lost in unceremonious fashion. UFC on FOX 14 was characterized by outstanding scraps, violent finishes, and a thunderous main event.
Anthony Johnson stole the No. 1 contendership right from beneath Alexander Gustafsson in the evening's main event, as "Rumble" knocked out the Swede in just over two minutes into the first round (highlights here). After beating the pulp out of "Gus," the Blackzilians product will be facing off against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones next.
In a battle between former Strikeforce champions, Gegard Mousasi took out Dan Henderson in little more than one minute via (technical) knockout. While many believed it was an early stoppage, "The Dreamcatcher" became only the second man to finish "Hendo" via strikes.
With that quick recap of the night's marquee bouts, here are your biggest winners, as well as the runners-up from Sweden.
Biggest Winner: Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson vs Jon Jones. That is the next UFC light heavyweight title fight.
"Rumble" put on an absolute beating on Sweden's hero, earning the (technical) knockout victory in the very first round. In an evening where early stoppages were apparently all the rage, Marc Goddard was sure willing to allow Gustafsson to take far more punishment than necessary.
As for Johnson, the former welterweight is now the unheralded No. 1 light heavyweight contender, and he may truly be the scariest fighter in UFC today. With power to literally knockout anyone cold, Jones is going to need to put on another masterclass of a performance to avoid "Rumble's" power.
As bummed as I am that we won't witness Gustafsson vs Jones 2 (yet), I am even more intrigued by "Bones" vs "Rumble."
Runners-up: Gegard Mousasi
A win is a win, no matter the fashion in which they come.
Look, maybe the stoppage for Mousasi's knockout over Henderson was a tad bit early, but do you really think anything was going to change if the fight had lasted even 10 more seconds? Mousasi pulled back on a follow-up punch as the referee stormed in, and Henderson was not going to take Mousasi down from that position.
Anyhow, "The Dreamcatcher" badly needed this win following his utter destruction at the hands of Jacare Souza late in 2014. Perhaps, Mousasi will use this momentum to find himself taking on another top 10 contender his next time out.
With the victory, the former Strikeforce champion is now 3-2 in UFC. The key here is, Mousasi is still in the middleweight title race, regardless of how far-fetched it may seem at this point.
Talk about a successful Octagon debut!
"Mr. Finland" opted to waste no time in going for the kill in his first Octagon showcase, earning his first career knockout as he starched The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran Andy Ogle in just eight seconds into the first round.
Amirkhani ran across the cage and blasted Ogle right off the bat with a flying knee. After an uppercut on the fence moments later, the Englishman was wrestling the referee as Joe Rogan claimed it was an early stoppage.
It wasn't early. It was warranted.
Regardless of what you think of the stoppage, Amirkhani could not have dreamed of a sweeter Octagon debut, and he undoubtedly earned thousands of fans in the process.
I can't decide what I enjoyed more: his incredible knockout, or enthralling post-fight interview!
Biggest Loser: Alexander Gustafsson
We unfortunately won't see the Alexander Gustafsson vs Jon Jones rematch next, as the Swede was taken out via strikes for the first time in his career.
The former No. 1 contender looked sharp early on, but Johnson's monstrous power simply proved to be too much. Gustafsson had simply never been hit like that in his career, including his title fight with Jones.
The loss will sting a bit more for the Swede as he lost in his hometown for the first time in his career, with nearly 30,000 fans in attendance cheering him on. In the end, Gustafsson simply got caught, and "The Mauler" will be back better than ever before we know it.
While I won't sugarcoat this, there is something to learn from this loss, and you can bet Gustafsson will be climbing up the ladder once again to light heavyweight glory.
Perhaps fellow former No. 1 contender Daniel Cormier is next?
Runners-up: Phil Davis and Ryan Bader
I already forgot about this light heavyweight "feature fight."
Needless to say, Phil Davis and Ryan Bader put up an absolute dud of a fight in front of thousands of fans in Sweden, and millions watching at home on FOX. For two Top 10-ranked light heavyweights, it sure seemed like they were sparring or in an aggressive wrestling practice for the majority of the 15 minute affair.
Oh, Bader won via split decision? Great! He's already been walloped by Jones (again) anyhow, and after this fight no one will be itching to see him return to the Octagon.
No one truly won that fight. The judges could have scored any of those rounds for either man, and it just as easily been scored a draw.
Bottom line, lets just move on from this dreadful fight.
Corassani was given the opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans in Sweden in back-to-back fights, and in both outings the Swede was knocked out viciously in the first round.
Not only did Corassani get put on Sam Sicilia's highlight reel, his third straight knockout loss will likely mark the end of his UFC career, and even possibly his MMA career.
One thing is for certain: Corassani simply does not have what it takes to fight UFC caliber opponents anymore.
That's a wrap!
For complete UFC on FOX 14 results and coverage of all the night's action click here.