No. 5-ranked UFC light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson won his eighth straight bout at last night’s (Sat., July 26, 2014), demolishing Antonio Rogerio Nogueira with a surprisingly fast 44-second knockout (watch highlights here) in a glaringly mismatched co-main event.
“Rumble” met up with MMA H.E.A.T. directly after his thunderous win last, noting that the bonus-sealing win surprised even him:
“Because he’s so tough. Like I said up there, when you have the last name Nogueira, you fight with a lot of pride. Everybody knows the Nogueiras are the toughest brothers in MMA.”
The Nogueiras are notoriously tough for sure, but at this point in time, they may be too tough for their own good. Because of that, Johnson stressed that he had to finish the fight as quickly and efficiently as possible:
“It felt great; everything had a nice little flow to it. But I knew when I hit him and I saw him up against the fence I had to like, go for the kill, because once again, you saw his brother when Frank Mir basically snatched his arm, he still didn’t tap. He woulda kept going if the ref hadn’t jumped in, you know? So I just wanted to go out there and just finish this guy.”
And finish him he did, moving on to what should be an absolutely huge match-up in the suddenly crowded UFC light heavyweight title picture. “Rumble” offered his assessment of the 205-pound division, noting that he’s willing to fight anyone:
“Everybody, once again. You got “DC” going against Jon Jones, too bad “Gus” got injured and stuff like that. So I don’t know how far I am from the top, but that’s definitely where I’m shooting.”
After finally settling in as a light heavyweight following many years struggling to make weight as a middleweight and welterweight, Johnson has taken his career to new heights at Florida’s South Jaco Hybrid Training Center by training with former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.
That’s only man “Rumble” won’t fight, regardless of the payday:
“I would never fight my brother Rashad, never. No amount of money can make me do that.”
Unfortunately, his path to a title shot may intertwine with the No. 3-ranked Evans’ goals sometime soon, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.
Either way, “Rumble” is finally beginning to fulfill his massive potential. Will a title shot be in the cards for him in 2015?