Anthony Johnson survives rough first from Jose Augusto for KO win

In the preliminary, there almost was a concern of whether it was an excellent concept for Anthony Johnson to come back from retirement.

Short-notice challenger Jose Augusto (7-3 Mixed Martial Arts, 1-1 BMMA) was drizzling down punches on Johnson (23-6 Mixed Martial Arts, 1-0 BMMA) – with his left hand most likely broken. However Johnson made it through the barrage in his very first battle in 4 years. And 90 seconds into the second round, Johnson knocked Augusto out with a right hand.

Johnson’s win, in his Bellator debut, was in the quarterfinals of the light heavyweight tournament – and put him into the semifinals against champion Vadim Nemkov, meaning he’ll fight for the belt his next time out.

The light heavyweight tournament quarterfinal bout was the Bellator 258 co-main event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The fight aired on Showtime.

Johnson went after Augusto’s lead leg with early kicks. Then he landed a perfect push kick 45 seconds in and came behind it with a few punches. About two minutes in, Augusto landed a right and seemed to hurt his hand with the punch. He threw a right hand 30 seconds later and pulled it back and winced in pain.

Johnson went after him with authority with punches and kicks against the fence. Johnson unloaded, but somehow Augusto din’t go down and stayed in the fight. And seconds later, Augusto landed a big left hand that wobbled Johnson. He went after him with his one good hand and had him hurt in a big way. He worked for a choke and seemed to have Johnson in trouble. But Johnson made it through, Augusto let the pressure off, and a few seconds later Johnson got a takedown and finished the round on top.

The pace slowed in the second round. Both fighters seemed to be recovering from the pace in the very first. But 90 seconds in, Johnson tossed a right that landed right on the chin. Augusto fell backwards to the canvas. Johnson landed one huge hammerfist on the canvas prior to referee Mike Beltran might get in to stop it. And easily, it was over.

Recent Bellator 258 outcomes consist of:

  • Anthony Johnson def. Jose Augusto through knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:30

  • Peter Queally def. Patricky Freire through TKO (medical professional’s blockage) – Round 3, 0:01

  • Michael Page def. Derek Anderson through TKO (medical professional’s blockage) – Round 1, 5:00

  • Raufeon Stots def. Josh Hill through consentaneous choice (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Lorenz Larkin def. Rafael Carvalho through split choice (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Irregular Mix def. Albert Morales through submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 2:40

  • Omar Hussein vs. Logan Storley* – ditched due to Hussein stopped working medicals

  • Johnny Eblen def. Daniel Madrid through knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:44

  • Johnny Campbell def. Henry Corrales through submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:12

  • Johnny Soto def. Weber Almeida through consentaneous choice (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Erik Perez def. Blaine Shutt through consentaneous choice (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.