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Stockholm Stunner: UFC LHW Matches to Make

(UFC LHW Anthony Johnson at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Boca Raton where he's training for an upcoming battle)

Alexander Gustafsson was considered the only light heavyweight contender with a legitamate potential to dethrone Jon Jones. If he was healthy enough to fight in September at UFC 178, the highly anticipated rematch could have seen a second run at Jones’ hold on the gold. After Daniel Cormier’s unanimous decision loss and Alexander Gustafsson’s 1st round TKO loss, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has changed that all over night. While the light heavyweight rankings have still yet to be updated after the fight, here are the matches to make after UFC on Fox 14.

Jon Jones vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson

Anthony Johnson
Photo via the UFC’s Facebook.

Title shot promises do not always hold water with UFC, but how could you give the shot to anyone else in the division? “Rumble” just added the TKO victory to top off a 9-fight winning streak with the cards stacked heavily against him. To defeat Gustafsson in such devastating fashion would have been a huge accomplishment on its own, but he did it in “The Mauler’s” backyard to boot.

Anthony Johnson may be one of the most terrifying competitors in the UFC. He needed just one hook to rock his opponent and pursue with relentless power. Overnight, Anthony Johnson looks like the kind of powerful competitor that is guaranteed to make for an exciting title fight against Jones. However, as is often the case with longtime champs, Jones would almost certainly get an immediate title rematch if Anthony Johnson is victorious. If “Rumble” really has true championship potential, he will likely have to beat Jones twice.

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Daniel Cormier

(Alexander Gustafsson at the UFC 127 weigh-in)

Gustafsson’s title eliminator loss and Cormier’s title fight loss should put them relatively close in standing in the division. Pitting Gustafsson against Cormier would be a high stakes fight for both top division scrappers looking to rebound. If Jones is able to retain the title against Anthony Johnson, a win for Gustafsson would put him in a much better standing for the title shot as opposed to Cormier. The Gustafsson rematch is still a fight that many still want to see. Cormier seems to have a much longer road to haul to get back to a title shot. What could possibly replace the hype and the madness that lead up to Cormier’s title shot at Jon Jones?

Rashad Evans vs. Ryan Bader

(Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans)

After a loss to Jon Jones and “Little Nog,” Rashad Evans has rebounded with 2 consecutive victories over Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen. With a split decision victory over former #5 Phil Davis, Ryan Bader will definitely move up the light heavyweight standings. There is a good chance that either Evans or Bader could be mixed in with Gustafsson or Cormier rather than this matchup, but this fight could present a strong case to earn a title eliminator fight for either light heavyweight on a rebound in their career.

Where do you think Gustafsson will fall in the UFC light heavyweight standings after his loss? Who do you think will be the next light heavyweights slated to fight?