Daniel “DC” Cormier (C) vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (#1):
A rematch from UFC 187 takes place in the main event of UFC 210, as Light Heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, meets number one ranked, Anthony Johnson for the title. Can “DC” grind out another win over Johnson, or will Rumble strike his way to gold?
Daniel Cormier –
Daniel “DC” Cormier has a professional MMA record of 18 wins with only one loss. The sole loss on his record came against Jon “Bones” Jones, who many consider to be the greatest talent in the sport. This defeat came at UFC 182 back in January 2015 but since then Jones has been forced to relinquish the title due to his involvement in a suspected hit and run incident. This meant a new champion in the Light Heavyweight division would be crowned. At UFC 187, Cormier had another shot at claiming the gold as he met Anthony Johnson for the now vacant crown. On the night, after suffering an early scare when “DC” was on the receiving end of a “Rumble” haymaker, Cormier managed to initiate the clinch, recover and see out the first round. Over the subsequent rounds, Cormier would use his dogged “embrace the grind” fighting style to wear out Johnson, eventually securing a rear naked choke in the third round which “Rumble” had no choice but to tap out to. “DC” was crowned the new UFC Light Heavyweight champion. During this fight (which we should remember Cormier took on just three weeks notice) “DC” showcased his exceptional Olympic-level wrestling ability as well as a good chin! In his next fight, and first title defence, Cormier met Swedish striker Alexander Gustafsson. This would be a tough test for the new champ as Gustafsson had significant height and reach advantage. Over the course of the fight, Cormier undoubtedly faced the hardest challenge of his career to date. Late in the third round, Cormier was at the end of a hellacious knee from Gustafsson that sent the champion down to the canvas and knocked nearly unconscious. However, once again, “DC” showed heart and determination and overcame a tricky period to walk away with a split decision win. Cormier has appeared just once inside the octagon since closely edging out Gustafsson. This was against Anderson Silva at UFC 200. Silva took this fight on just two days notice as a rematch with Jon Jones was first set. However, once again, the bout was scrapped after Jones tested positive for a banned substance out of competition. Cormier was able to takedown the former Middleweight champion Silva numerous times throughout and walked away with a unanimous decision victory. Daniel Cormier has certainly been in some toll-taking wars in previous contests and at the advancing age of 38, time is definitely of the essence. If Cormier can get past Johnson once more, then another scheduled rematch with Jon “Bones” Jones is the next likely option.
Anthony Johnson –
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is without a doubt the pound for pound hardest hitter in the UFC, if not combat sports in general. Out of his 22 professional MMA wins, 16 have come by way of KO/TKO. Johnson is currently riding a three fight win streak, all of which have come by way of highlight reel knockout finish. In total, he has only fought seven minutes and seven seconds in these three bouts, with only one barely making it into the second round. “Rumble” has clearly worked diligently on his takedown defence, which is something he demonstrated in the Ryan Bader fight as he was able to stuff the takedown attempt, move to top position, and unleash some devastating ground and pound to seal another impressive victory. In his last outing, back at UFC 202 in August 2016, Johnson fought highly ranked Brazilian Light Heavyweight, Glover Teixeira. Teixeira was coming off three wins himself and was the only fighter in the division to call out the hard-hitting Anthony Johnson. However, this proved to be an unwise choice as Johnson was able to quickly dispatch the Brazilian with an astonishing 13 second KO win (sending one of Teixeira’s teeth flying across the octagon in the process). This victory cemented “Rumble’s” place as next in line to challenge for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship again. A rematch with Cormier was set for UFC 206 in December 2016. However, in late November 2016, “DC” had to pull out of the fight due to injury and the bout was scrapped. With the contest now rescheduled and both fighter’s healthy, Johnson will be looking to become the new UFC Light Heavyweight champion when they meet again in the main event of UFC 210 on 8th April 2017, live from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.