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UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier celebrates after defeating Anthony Johnson during the UFC 210 event at the KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York

Daniel Cormier Retains Title

Apr 102017

Cormier retained his UFC light heavyweight championship last night with a second-round submission of Anthony Johnson at UFC 210 inside KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.

“I couldn’t believe he was forcing me to wrestle,”

Two years after their first meeting at UFC 187 in an almost exact repeat where Cormier won by rear-naked choke, he survived the early striking power of Johnson and forced a submission at 3:37 of Round 2.  However, unlike the first fight Johnson, a knockout artist, oddly persisted with the takedown attempt and chose to wrestle and grapple with the former Olympic wrestler, playing to Cormier’s strength.


“I couldn’t believe he was forcing me to wrestle,” said Cormier after his second successful title defense.


A calm and composed Cormier once again weathered the offensive storm of ‘Rumble’ as Johnson started the fight with powerful kicks and shots while pressuring Cormier into the cage, then curiously clinching, which allowed Cormier to land hard elbow’s to the challengers head. A separation by Big John McCarthy gave Johnson some striking room as Cormier’s toughness was showcased after surviving a barrage of strikes including a thudding head kick. Then it was back to the clinch for Johnson and that suited the UFC Champ just fine.


Cormier (19-1) appeared to have a broken nose from Johnson’s head kick as they began the second round. Johnson threw some decent shots in the first minute, but he was visibly slowing down and the writing was on the wall as Cormier’s conditioning and cardio took over. After stuffing yet another Johnson takedown attempt, Cormier wrestled him back down to the canvas and took Johnson’s back with ease. Cormier let loose a series of brutal unanswered head strikes before sinking in an uncontested rear-naked choke for his second victory over Johnson with the same stoppage.


After the fight, Johnson made a surprise retirement announcement at age 33. Following this win, Cormier is likely going to compete opposite Jimi Manuwa. There is also the potential for the Jon Jones fight when he will be eligible for reinstatement in July.


Daniel Cormier is amongst Monster Energy’s elite UFC athletes along with Conor “The Notorious” McGregor, Chris “The All American” Weidman, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Dominick “Dominator” Cruz, Jon “Bones” Jones, Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley, and Cain Velasquez.