UFC On FOX 14 Opening Odds Breakdown: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson

Rumble-Gus UFC On FOX 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson Date: January 25, 2014 Location: Stockholm, Sweden Venue: Tele2 Arena Broadcast: FOX UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Alexander Gustafsson Alexander Gustafsson (16-2) has made his mark on the UFC light heavyweight division in the last few years. The 27-year-old Swede’s first loss up until 2013 came to another light heavyweight youngster who is also working his way to the top of the rankings in Phil Davis back in April of 2010. Since then, Gustafsson has improved immensely as he has used his size and superlative MMA boxing to climb to the top of the division. After amassing a nice winning streak, Gustafsson was then given the light heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 165 as the rest of the 205lb division was trying to sort itself out. Jones and Gustafsson would then meet at UFC 165, and what would transpire there was simply incredible. No one had ever been so competitive against Jon Jones, arguably the greatest fighter in light heavyweight history. Jones would get his takedowns stuffed by Gustafsson over and over again, and Gustafsson proceeded to bust up Jones on the feet. As the fight wore on, however, Gustafsson began to tire, and eventually Jones would be able to battle back and win a decision in what was one of the best fights of all time. Still, Gustafsson looked awesome, and many were calling for a rematch. The UFC decided to pair Gustafsson up with Jimi Manuwa, and Gustafsson knocked him out in brutal fashion to earn another title shot. However, he got injured and had to pull out. With Jones now taking on Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson needed a new opponent, and Rumble Johnson called him out. Gustafsson accepted the fight, and now the two will meet in the main event of UFC on FOX 14 in what should be a great battle between two of the best light heavyweights in the UFC. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Anthony Johnson Anthony Johnson (18-4) was once a top welterweight prospect in the UFC, but after missing weight three times — including in a middleweight bout against Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 — the UFC decided to part ways with him. Instead of feeling bad for himself, the 30-year-old Johnson decided to improve his game, and the first step was to move to light heavyweight, where he wouldn’t have to put himself through deadly weight cuts. And the move has paid off for him, as Johnson has won eight fights in a row including victories over the likes of Phil Davis, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and even Andrei Arlovksi in a heavyweight bout. He has crazy power in his hands and feet, excellent takedown defence, solid offensive wrestling, improved cardio, and the desire to win. Johnson is closing in on a title shot in the UFC light heavyweight division and if he beats Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC on FOX 14, he definitely deserves the next crack at the title. Opening UFC on FOX 14 Main Event Analysis: Several Bookmakers opened Gustafsson a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) while Johnson opened as a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). This is an excellent fight between two of the top-five light heavyweights in the world, and the winner is likely to get the next title shot at 205lbs. Gustafsson is coming off of a knockout win over Jimi Manuwa and was set to fight Jon Jones for the title at UFC 178, but had to pull out with injury and was replaced by Daniel Cormier, who now fights Jones at UFC 182. With Gustafsson having no opponent, Johnson called him out, and Gustafsson accepted the fight — and it will be no walk in the park. Johnson has won eight fights in a row including two straight since returning to the UFC, a knockout over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and a decision win over Phil Davis. He looks better than ever at light heavyweight, and absolutely has a chance to win this fight. It’s a close matchup between two huge light heavyweights with long reaches, but Gustafsson has the homefield advantage and overall has fought a higher level of competition in the weight class, and that’s why he opens up as the favorite.

Written by Adam Martin.

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