Anthony “Rumble” Johnson needed just 44 seconds to dispose of Antonio Rogerio ” Little Nog” Noguiera in the co-featured bout of UFC on Fox 12 on Saturday night at San Jose, California.
Johnson’s sub one minute demolition of Little Nog was a scary reminder of how dominating he can be in his newfound weight class. Noguiera is one of the sport’s best boxers, but the younger Johnson had the faster fists and heavier hands as he immediately stunned Noguiera during their first exchange.
Johnson then sent Little Nog backing up to the cage and landed at least two more powerful uppercuts that knocked the Brazilian veteran out cold.Johnson said that he was looking for an early finish because his opponents was “a Noguiera, and they never give up.” Johnson improved his record to 18-4 with 12 KOs. It was the ninth first round stoppage of his career.
Noguiera was coming off a series of injuries that have sidelined him since his last victory over Rashad Evans at UFC 156 in February 2013. The #7 ranked Noguiera was on a two fight winning streak coming into the match. The loss dropped his record to 21-6 with 6 knockouts and 6 submissions.
Cut by the UFC
The win was the second consecutive for Johnson in his UFC return, and his eight straight overall since losing to Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 in 2012. During the weigh in for the match against Belfort, Johnson was 12 pounds over the middleweight division weight limit of 185 pounds.
The UFC took away 20% of his purse as penalty and allowed the bout to continue provided that he would not weigh more than 205 pounds on fight night. The weight difference did not matter as Belfort used his superior jiu jitsu to submit Rumble via rear naked choke in the very first round. Following the fight, Johnson was cut by the UFC for being “unprofessional”.
Fighting in the Wrong Division
The win improved Johnson’s record in the light heavyweight division to 6-0. He had been fighting as a welterweight and middleweight for most of his career. In 2010, Johnson admitted to having problems in making weight for his bouts because his walking around with a weight of 225 pounds. Johnson nearly lost his career by fighting in the wrong division, now he’s making up for lost time.
Ready for Rumble
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has looked every bit a title contender in his UFC return. His dominance of Phil Davis and destruction of Little Nog has proven that he truly belongs to the light heavyweight division. If this #5 ranked contender continues this destructive path, he could be on his way to the top of this stacked division. Hopefully, everyone there is ready for Rumble.