LAS VEGAS -- Anthony Johnson punched his ticket to a title shot on Saturday when he knocked out Glover Teixeira in just 13 seconds at UFC 202. The performance put an exclamation mark on Johnson's ferocious three-fight run of knockout wins and solidified "Rumble" as the unquestioned No. 1 contender in the UFC light heavyweight division.
As it stands, the only thing that could potentially derail Johnson's momentum is if disgraced former UFC champion Jon Jones emerges from his failed USADA test unscathed and steals away the title shot against Daniel Cormier, however Johnson isn't worried about that happening.
"Not at all," Johnson said at UFC 202's post-fight press conference. "Daniel is beyond that. I'm beyond it. Daniel wants to fight me and I want to fight him. As far as Jon, he can sit back and wait. That's just what it is right now. That's nothing against him, but that's just what's going to happen."
Johnson, 32, has looked nigh unstoppable since his May 2015 loss to Cormier, and UFC 202 was only further proof of that, as "Rumble" became the first man since 2002 to finish the hard-hitting Teixeira with strikes.
Johnson has now won all three fights since his defeat at the hands of Cormier, finishing each win by knockout in a combined 7:07. And when he looks at a potential rematch against Cormier, Johnson envisions a different outcome than the third-round submission loss he suffered at UFC 187.
"A lot different," Johnson said. "DC is a hell of a champion. It's an honor to fight him again. I'm looking forward to it.
"Daniel took a hell of a shot (in the first round) and just, he took it like a man. I was very surprised that he got back up, because usually I hit you one time and you drop and you don't get back up unless somebody is helping you up. But Daniel popped right back up and kept moving, so hopefully I don't get as frustrated next time and I just keep landing big shots on him and eventually put him out."
Johnson called out Cormier immediately following his victory over Teixeira at UFC 202, and Cormier -- who was sitting cageside -- appeared to welcome the invitation.
The UFC has yet to make the fight official, although Johnson already has a date and venue in mind. If Johnson had his choice, he and Cormier would meet on Nov. 12 at UFC 205, a historic card which marks the first UFC event to be held in New York since the state's longtime ban on mixed martial arts was lifted.
"I want to be a part of history in New York, man," Johnson said. "I really want to fight in Madison Square Garden. That's where all of the legends of fighting, not mixed martial arts but just fighting in general, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, all of the greats have fought there, so I want to be a part of that history."
For Johnson, the opportunity to fight for the title on such a monumental event would be a serendipitous break in a career that has been as roller-coaster as they come.
From struggling to make the welterweight limit to being cut from the UFC, there was a moment in time when "Rumble" wasn't sure where he was headed. But to rebound like he has and now potentially capture a UFC title all these years later, it would be a dream a come true.
"This is something that I've wanted for a long time," Johnson said. "I only want to compete against the best, and so far, since I've been back in the UFC, that's what I've been doing. This is my second chance at a title, so I really want to go out there and just, I want to dominate. Daniel, he said that when we're in the cage it's Daniel Time or something like that, which is fine. It can be Daniel Time. But at the end of the night, it's going to be my time."