A number one contender’s match for the UFC light heavyweight championship, both Alexander Gustaffson and Anthony Johnson know what is at stake in this fight in Stockholm, Sweden. The Swede has already had a taste of fighting for the strap against defending champion, Jon Jones; Anthony Johnson is still looking for his first title shot in the UFC, and has completely decimated his opposition since returning to the promotion. Both deserve to be considered one of the best in the division, only one will get the title shot. The UFC hits Fight Pass first at 4 pm EST, heads to FOX Sports 1 at 5 pm EST, and finding its final stop on FOX at 8 pm EST. Jon Jones awaits his next challenge, so does the UFC.
#1 Alexander Gustafsson (16-2) vs. #3 Anthony Johnson (18-4) Light Heavyweight Bout – Thunder versus technique, smooth and methodical against quick and jerky. Johnson’s punching power in the UFC light heavyweight division us among the best; Gustaffson though, is one of the hardest to hit, and has proven he can take a punch. Gustaffson has the advantage of being in there with the best of the best for five rounds already, and continues the volume output as the fight goes on. Johnson has yet to see five rounds, in which may put him at a disadvantage. Both pose respectful take down defenses, with each priding themselves with their striking excellence. “The Mauler” will look to use his length and experience to hopefully volume punch his way to victory; as “Rumble” will be pressing to end this early. The later the fight goes, the bigger advantage it becomes for the number one contender. Alexander Gustaffson via Unanimous Decision.
#8 Gegard Mousasi (35-5-2) vs. Dan Henderson (30-12) Middleweight Bout – Henderson has been one of the best Americans to have ever fought inside the UFC octagon, but it seems as if the talent has surpassed him. Mousasi at this stage, is better than Henderson in every phase of this fight. Henderson’s striking has become horribly predictable, but yet seems to have his moments landing the dreaded “H Bomb”. If Mousasi keeps his distance and isn’t careless when picking his shots against Henderson he should take this one with ease. Mousasi will find a way to pound Hendo’s body, and TKO him before time runs out. Mousasi needs this win to stay relevant in the division, and he will get it. Gegard Mousasi via Technical Knockout.
#5 Phil Davis (13-2) vs. #7 Ryan Bader (19-4) Light Heavyweight Bout – It is anyone’s guess who would win between these two in a wrestling match, but if this fight stays standing, it may come down to the striking game of each. Ryan Bader packs a heavy right hand, and could possibly be the better striker in this match up. Phil Davis has yet to really get his striking technique down, while really lacking the tenacity to finish anyone with his fists. Bader should be able to fend off Davis’ take down attempts, beat him on the feet, and land a take down or two of his own if he gets lucky. Phil Davis will never be a contender until he figures out striking in MMA, the division is too deep to think otherwise. Ryan Bader via Unanimous Decision.
Akira Corassani (14-6-1) vs. Sam Sicilia (13-5) Featherweight Bout – Range does not last long in a featherweight bout, and unfortunately, that is exactly what Corassani needs to win this fight. Sicilia is a power puncher, and with Akira’s suspect able chin as of late, Sicilia should be able to take advantage quickly. The openings will be there for Corassani, as Sicilia’s movement is very limited when exchanging, so this is almost a “who hits the chin first” type of fight. This bout should not last beyond two rounds, it would be quite surprising if it even made it past the first round. With Akira’s back to back knockout losses, and confidence that is in the decline, expect Sicilia to lay his hands on the Swede early. Sam Sicilia via Technical Knockout.
Other notable UFC fights on the card; submission machine, Kenny Robertson, gets back inside the octagon against former Bellator welterweight, Sultan Aliev. The undefeated Chris Beal will be kicking off the card against the very game ready Neil Seery. For live coverage and full results following UFC Fight Night, stay tuned into the MMA Spotlight for all the coverage.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA