Surging UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson absolutely steamrolled former PRIDE star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on Fox 12 last night, requiring a measly 44 seconds to put the Brazilian's lights out.
As fight fans have come to expect, Rumble came out swinging with bad intentions from the opening bell and didn't stop until he landed some vicious uppercuts against the cage.
The Blackzilians team standout has now rattled off eight consecutive victories (seven knockouts) since being cut from the UFC in January 2012 after missing weight and then being submitted by Vitor Belfort at UFC 142.
Heading into the matchup with Nogueira, Johnson was ranked the No. 5 light heavyweight in the world, according to the UFC's official rankings, though that may change after the rankings are updated tomorrow.
While UFC President Dana White was undoubtedly impressed with Johnson's quick, brutal knockout victory, he'd still like to see the 30-year-old slugger win one more fight before he enters the title conversation, per Steven Marrocco and John Morgan of MMAjunkie.
As for Nogueira, the highly regarded Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is now just 2-3 in his past five fights and was on the shelf for 16 months due to various injuries before the loss to Rumble.
In fairness, it's possible Little Nog has a fight or two left in him. He notched back-to-back wins over former light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans prior to his loss Saturday.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was initially scheduled to rematch rival Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 178 in September, but a knee injury now has "Bones" squaring off with unbeaten contender Daniel Cormier, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
Given that Johnson has proven he's one of the most dangerous UFC fighters at 205 pounds, what matchup makes the most sense for him next?
John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.