Just last week, Conor McGregor made his native country of Ireland proud.
Now, it’s Alexander Gustafsson’s turn this weekend in Stockholm.
The #1 Gustafsson will have his hands full with a freight train known as #3 Anthony Johnson in a light-heavyweight title eliminator main event.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
The Mauler should have an edge to him, having lost a rematch with the champ Jon Jones due to injury. Daniel Cormier failed to capitalize on that opportunity at UFC 182. Now, he must defeat Johnson to keep what he already had.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in with her thoughts on the main card.
AKIRA CORASSANI (14-6-1) VS SAM SICILLIA (13-5-0)
Wiseman: Corassani will be under a load of pressure for this this fight, coming off two losses. Sicilia has never lost two in a row and he lost his last fight, so this should be a win. Patterns aside, Sicilia is more well-rounded with his ground game and striking. He has KO power and is quick to pounce if a submission shows itself. Corassani doesn’t mix things up well, is predictable, and hasn’t had much luck finding his grow against fighters who don’t just stand and bang with him.
Wiseman Prediction: Sam Sicilia via submission.
#5 MR. WONDERFUL” PHIL DAVIS (13-2-0, 1NC) VS RYAN “DARTH” BADER (19-4-0)
Wiseman: If you want don’t like grind matches, this will be the fight for you to take a break. We have two high-level wrestlers here. Davis is better at grappling, but that’s the only distinction between the two. Bader will walk around low and fire punches in a strange stance while Davis will look to get the clinch to turn things into a wrestling/grappling match.
Wiseman Prediction: “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis via unanimous decision.
DAN “HENDO” HENDERSON (30-12-0) VS #8 GEGARD MOUSASI (35-5-2)
Wiseman: Henderson is always dangerous with the H-Bomb, but he hasn’t been mixing things up with his wrestling now like he used to. The Henderson we see now really goes for the KO, not many kicks, and is predictable. Mousasi is a kickboxing guy, long and lanky, which he will use to try to keep Henderson at a distance while doing damage. I don’t see Mousasi finishing Henderson, and really any fight can be over at anytime with a strike from Henderson, but I see it being a long fight. Mousasi will keep distance on his side and win simply by throwing more strikes.
Wiseman Prediction: Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision.
#1 ALEXANDER “THE MAULER” GUSTAFSSON (16-2-0) VS #3 ANTHONY “RUMBLE” JOHNSON (18-4-0)
Wiseman: The old Johnson was truly lacking, but it was due to having to cut so much weight. The Johnson we’ve seen since being back in the UFC is a monster. How he manhandled Phil Davis, finished Antonio Nogueira, and made his way up the ladder to title talk is incredible. Gustafsson is known as the man who almost finished Jon Jones. His size and reach allowed him to test the chin of Jones for the first time. However, will the chin of Gustafsson be able to handle the power of Johnson? Johnson has shown fantastic defence, mixes up his stances, and controlled his output to keep his cardio in check. I see the upset in this fight with Johnson connecting with a powerful uppercut.
Wiseman Prediction: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson via TKO.