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Johnson makes quick work of Bader in Fight Night New Jersey main event

NEWARK, NJ - The storyline heading into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Ryan Bader was that if Bader got the battle of top light heavyweight contenders to the ground, he would win. Well, the fight went to the ground, but it was Johnson who emerged victorious, with his thudding power producing a devastating first-round knockout at Prudential Center.

More from Fight Night New Jersey: Full results | Post-fight bonus recap | Johnson makes quick work of Bader | Rothwell, Rivera earn wins | Barberena hands Northcutt first professional loss | Saffiedine, Ferreira and Natal among winners at Fight Night New Jersey prelims | Randy Brown wins in his UFC debut | Backstage interviews: Anthony Johnson, Ben Rothwell, Jimmie Rivera, Bryan Barberena, Tarec Saffiedine, Rafael Natal, Alexander Yakolev | Octagon interviews: Anthony Johnson, Ben Rothwell, Bryan Barberena, Randy Brown | Best images from New Jersey

The number two-ranked Johnson’s last four victories have come by knockout, cementing his place as perhaps the most crushing puncher in the sport, and the Georgia native is eager to face off with the winner of the championship bout between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, which is expected to take place later this year.

“I will be waiting for whoever has that belt,” Johnson, who lost his previous title shot against Cormier last May, said.

Eager to get the fight where he wanted it, Bader didn’t take long to go looking for a takedown, but Johnson easily sprawled out of danger and tried to take Bader’s back. Bader attempted to lock up his foe’s arm, but it was Johnson getting loose and unleashing a ferocious series of ground strikes. The bout was over moments later, with referee Keith Peterson stopping the bout at the 1:26 mark.

“He was going to play it safe or come right after me,” Johnson said. “He came right after me.”

And paid the price.

With the win, Boca Raton’s Johnson ups his record to 21-5; Tempe’s Bader falls to 21-5.

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