At UFC on Fox 14, the next #1 contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light-heavyweight division will be determined when Alexander Gustafsson takes on Anthony Johnson. The event is set for Jan. 24 at the Tele2arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Here are my UFC on Fox 14 predictions:
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson (#1 contender fight)
MMA fans will be in for a treat when these two square off. Gustafsson (16-2-0, 10 KOs) turned himself into one of MMA’s superstars with his impressive performance against Jon Jones in a losing effort, and he followed that up with a knockout stoppage of Jimi Manuwa during his next outing. That made him the first man to defeat Manuwa.
Johnson (18-4-0, 12 KOs) has been on one of the most impressive tears in MMA ever since the UFC cut him early 2012. The Blackzilian racked up six consecutive victories before getting resigned by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and he’s added Phil Davis and Antônio Rogério Nogueira to his list of victims since then.
The victory against Davis was certainly the most impressive, given how easily he shrugged off the 2008 NCAA champion’s takedowns.
“Rumble” is now in a perfect position to earn his first shot at a UFC title.
Both men are solid strikers, but if you watch them closely, you’ll notice Johnson is a bit more accurate with his attacks. Johnson is also better at evading strikes, and, despite the fact Gustafsson will enjoy a three-inch height advantage, Rumble will be the one who enjoys a two-inch reach advantage.
That means Gustafsson will have his work cut out for him when in striking range.
Of course, Alexander could try to use his takedowns to score points and steal rounds, but taking Johnson down is no small feat. More than likely, the majority of their five-rounder will take place standing up.
At times in the past, Johnson has gassed during fights, but he seems to be completely focused with his MMA career nowadays. Still, if he gasses out, Gustafsson is good enough to capitalize and put him away.
Johnson’s endurance is the biggest question mark heading into this #1 contender fight, but I couldn’t be more impressed by what I’ve seen from Rumble lately, so he should be fully prepared come fight time.
That’s not good for Alexander Gustafsson or the many Swedish fans that will be in attendance.
Prediction: Anthony Johnson wins via TKO.
Dan Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi
Things didn’t go so well for Henderson during his last outing. He suffered one of the most humbling defeats in his legendary MMA career, getting ragdolled by Daniel Cormier at UFC 173, before being choked unconscious via rear-naked choke during the third round.
Things weren’t that much better for Mousasi during his last outing when he ran into Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Like Henderson, Mousasi was also severely out grappled, but it was a guillotine choke that put him away during the third round.
Henderson should have the grappling advantage when these two square off, but it’s been a while since he has been able to successfully grind an opponent down during a fight. Mousasi isn’t exactly a fish out of water when it comes to the grappling game, so even if he’s grounded, he should be able to fight his way back to his feet.
While standing, Mousasi is certainly the better fighter, and it’s easy to see him picking Henderson apart from range. Of course, there’s always the possibility Henderson lands a H-bomb, plus Mousasi’s chin isn’t exactly made out of iron.
However, the odds of Mousasi lighting Henderson up from range are significantly better.
Predictions: Gegard Mousasi wins via decision.
Remaining UFC on Fox 14 predictions:
Phil Davis defeats Ryan Bader
Akira Corassani defeats Sam Sicilia
Nico Musoke defeats Albert Tumenov
Kenny Robertson defeats Sultan Aliev
Andy Ogle defeats Makwan Amirkhani
Nikita Krylov defeats Stanislav Nedkov
Mairbek Taisumov defeats Anthony Christodoulou
Konstantin Erokhin defeats Viktor Pešta
Mirsad Bektic defeats Alan Omer
Chris Beal defeats Neil Seery
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
Don’t forget to check out my UFC on Fox 14 Predictions FightPicks shortly before the prelims start. Finished 2014 up +20.27 units.