Anthony Johnson (pictured) submitted his application for next dibs at reigning UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones’ belt in emphatic fashion Saturday by viciously disposing of consensus top contender Alexander Gustagsson in just 135 seconds.
With the champion watching and scouting his next opponent from afar, Johnson wanted to offer up a little free advice to “Bones” ahead of their anticipated shootout.
“The same way I took Gus out, I’ll knock him out. I’m going to do my best to take his head off,” Johnson stated on the Fox Sports 2 post-fight show. “Jon, keep your hands up, because if you don’t, it’s lights out.”
Lights out is exactly what Johnson has been since accepting that there’s no way he can squeeze a welterweight (or middleweight) frame into his behemoth body. It’s been 10 fights since Johnson has competed at any weight less than 170 pounds.
He’s won all of them except one. “Rumble” has finished off six of those victims via some form of violent knockout.
“My goal is to win the title one day, so I knew I had to get through Gus,” Johnson added. “I had to make it ugly for him so people wouldn’t doubt me. Now, I’m going against the champ and they’re going to doubt me, so I have to prove them wrong, too.”
Johnson is the most physically imposing opponent Jones has ever faced. The question will be whether Johnson has the gas tank to go into the championship rounds.
Johnson has never gone past 15 minutes in a professional fight, while Jones has done so in his last three title defenses. Then again, lights out can unexpectedly happen in a matter of seconds.
Just ask poor Gustafsson.