Daniel Cormier may have needed the help of a towel to make championship weight on Friday, but he needed no extra assistance defending his title at UFC 210 on Saturday night
Cormier took on Anthony Johnson in a rematch of their first bout back at UFC 187 where Cormier claimed the vacant UFC light heavyweight title. That evening, Cormier won by submission after wearing Johnson down and sinking in a rear-naked choke. Last night’s fight almost played out exactly the same, but this time it only took the champion two rounds to get the job done.
Round one began with both men throwing leather as they loaded up on big strikes in the first few exchanges. The fight quickly entered the champion’s realm though as the two clinched up against the cage and Johnson chose to stay and wrestle on his feet with Cormier.
After three minutes of grinding and battling for supremacy, the two were separated after the referee caught Cormier holding the cage. As they broke apart, Johnson landed a nice head kick, but he narrowly missed with a follow up as Cormier regained his balance and managed to clinch the challenger up against the cage to see the round out safely.
Between rounds, it became obvious that Cormier’s nose was broken. Johnson looked to target it at the start of the second with his jab, but Cormier managed to push him up against the fence and take him down to the mat with a single leg takedown. With the fight on the floor, Cormier immediately flattened the challenger out and made it look easy taking his back as he rained down blows.
The champion then slipped an arm under the chin of the challenger and sunk in a rear-naked choke that Johnson tapped out to in seconds.
The fight had played out like a much shorter version of their first encounter and a disappointed crowd in Buffalo voiced their displeasure at how it had all played out.
The post-fight speeches saw Johnson win back the hearts of those in attendance as he proceeded to retire from active MMA competition. Cormier, who was still roundly booed, then took to the mic himself and taunted British light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa who was watching cageside. Cormier said that Manuwa wanted no part of him and that the other man also watching on in the first row, Jon Jones, had to serve the rest of his suspension before he would even think about talking about a fight with him.
It was a disappointing end to the event, but what went before might also have played a part in the crowd’s disgruntlement.
Weidman and Mousasi contest ends in controversy
In the co-main event of the evening, Gegard Mousasi and Chris Weidman went toe-to-toe in a highly anticipated middleweight encounter.
Many expected the American to look to wrestle Mousasi down to the mat and from very early on it became obvious that his gameplan was exactly that. After taking the Dutchman down twice in the opening round, Weidman was successful doing so again in the second round and he worked beautifully into full mount to rain down elbows. Mousasi somehow managed to wriggle free and get back to his feet, but with two minutes left in the round controversy struck.
Mousasi pushed forward having gotten back up and he clinched up to Weidman as he threw strikes. The Dutchman then threw two knees with Weidman hunched over and landed them clean to the head with the American desperately trying to get both hands down to the mat to make them illegal.
Weidman took both full pelt and slumped to the mat with blood running from the side of his head. The referee, Dan Miragliotta, stepped in to pause the bout believing that Weidman had got his hands grounded and that the strikes were illegal. During a mass of confusion, Miragliotta was then informed that both Weidman’s hands were off the ground when the strikes landed, thus they were in fact legal.
With the American groggy and bloodied, the cageside doctor then stepped in to call an end to the bout after it had been paused for well over three minutes. The crowd booed and both Weidman and Mousasi looked dissatisfied, but the decision was unfortunately out of their hands. Speaking on the microphone afterwards, Mousasi immediately apologised for the way the bout had ended and offered Weidman a rematch.
Earlier in the evening, Brazilian Charles Oliveira got the main card to a quick start when he submitted Will Brooks after just two and a half minutes of the first round.
Thiago Alves then rolled back the years as he defeated Patrick Cote via unanimous decision. The Brazilian looked back to his best at welterweight and he put on a striking clinic as he chopped down the legs of the Canadian and dropped him on two occasions with slick counter punches. Unsurprisingly he took all three scorecards on the night 30-27.
In the third fight from top, Cynthia Calvillo submitted UFC newcomer Pearl Gonzalez after an entertaining back and forth three round affair. The finish came with just over a minute left until the final bell when Calvillo took the back of Gonzalez and finished her with a slick rear-naked choke.
UFC 210 Full Results
Daniel Cormier def. Anthony Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 3:37
Gegard Mousasi def. Chris Weidman via TKO (injury stoppage), Round 2, 3:13
Cynthia Calvillo def. Pearl Gonzalez via submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 3:45
Thiago Alves def. Patrick Cote via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Charles Oliveira def. Will Brooks via submission (RNC), Round 1, 2:30
Myles Jury def. Mike de la Torre via TKO (punches), Round 1,
Kamaru Usman def. Sean Strickland via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Shane Burgos def. Charles Rosa via TKO (punches), Round 3, 1:59
Patrick Cummins def. Jan Blachowicz via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Prelims - UFC Fight Pass
Gregor Gillespie def. Andrew Holbrook via knockout (punches), Round 1, 0:21
Desmond Green def. Josh Emmett via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Katlyn Chookagian def. Irene Aldana via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)Reuse content