Rumble Lands the Finishing Blow at UFC 210

Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson

Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson

UFC 210 Main Event – Light Heavyweight Championship

UFC 210 takes place on the weekend of April 8th and is headlined by one of the most anticipated rematches in the world of mixed martial arts as Daniel ‘DC’ Cormier defends his light heavyweight championship against Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 210.

These two fighters initially battled it out for the light heavyweight championship at UFC 187 in May 2015 after Jon Jones was stripped of the title for his involvement in a hit-and-run incident. Cormier proved to be the better man on the night after surviving a typical early onslaught from Rumble Johnson before submitting him in the third round with a rear naked choke.

Since then, Cormier successfully defended his title against Alexander Gustaffson at UFC 192 and then made easy work of Anderson Silva, who was replacing Jon Jones on short notice, at UFC 200. The rematch between Cormier and Johnson was originally scheduled for UFC 206 before Cormier had to withdraw due to a groin injury.

Anthony Johnson has deservedly earned his path back to a title shot by defeating Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira convincingly over his past three fights. Each of these bouts ended in KO/TKO victories for Johnson and four of his last five victories have now come by way of first-round KO/TKO finish. His power, accuracy and speed with his striking causes trouble for everyone in the division and almost earned him the championship back at UFC 187 when he caught Daniel Cormier early in the fight with a devastating right hand.

The bookmakers have the rematch as a pick ’em fight, showcasing just how difficult it is to predict the fight because of the multitude of variables in this one. Can Anthony Johnson catch Daniel Cormier with a precise right hand or will ‘DC’ survive the initial onslaught and ruin Johnson’s hopes of acquiring the Light Heavyweight Championship yet again.

Daniel Cormier

The Breakdown

I think DC played an extremely dangerous game with Rumble last time and was probably lucky to survive the first round after he was dominated on the feet. Johnson caught DC early and floored him before getting a little wild and coming in with an overhand right hand that DC successfully evaded before shooting for a takedown to slowly recover. A more calculated approach could have seen Johnson walk away with the title that night.

Trading with Rumble Johnson is a terrible idea for any active fighter in the division (Jon Jones proves to be an enticing bout one day in the future). All it takes is that one clean punch from Rumble and you’re asleep, immediately. We saw this in his most recent fight against Glover Teixeira, a fight that many fans were eagerly anticipating before Johnson put him away in just thirteen seconds.

DC’s strengths come in the way of elite wrestling and supreme fight intelligence inside the cage. We saw it last time when he escaped from the claws of defeat by shooting on Anthony Johnson with a double-leg takedown that changed the entire course of the fight. Cormier has a huge gas tank and can pound away at Johnson for the entire five rounds – it’s just a matter of whether he can survive the first couple of minutes against Johnson’s heavy hands.

Cormier has mentioned that he has tremendous respect for Johnson’s striking, particularly the speed of his right hand and left kick combination. To get this fight going in the direction he wants, he needs to quickly find a takedown and start sapping the energy from Rumble.

Cormier’s wrestling and jiu-jitsu were what got him over the line in the first fight and will be the advantage again at UFC 210. DC had his greatest success in Round 2 when he was controlling Johnson with ease on the mat and quickly accumulating damage to the face of Johnson with heavy blows from mounted positions and the back of Johnson.

Prediction

I’m picking Anthony Johnson to get the job done against Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 by KO/TKO. Cormier made the mistake of standing inside boxing range last time and will pay the price if he chooses to at UFC 210.

Every second that Daniel Cormier chooses to trade with Rumble Johnson standing up is a dangerous one, and Anthony Johnson will find a home for his devastating right hand, left kick combination.

Tips Summary

Recommended Play

Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson to win by KO/TKO
Sunday 9th April, 05:00 GMT
Odds: +125  –  Ladbrokes

Sneaky Play

Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson
Daniel Cormier to win in Round 3
Sunday 9th April, 05:00 GMT
Odds: +1300  –  Skybet