UFC 210: Cormier vs Johnson 2
Cormier vs Johnson 2
Sat, Apr 08
UFC 210: Cormier vs Johnson 2
Johnson flattened Cormier with a right hand in the first 30 seconds and laced him with head kicks, but at the end of the day, Cormier’s grinding wrestling game broke Johnson’s spirit and led to a rear-naked choke finish. Cormier walked away with the title he has held ever since. Cormier vs Johnson 2 Live..
Since that loss, Johnson has embarked on a terrifying rebound tour. He has fought three times and none of his opponents, all of whom are elite competitors, has lasted longer than six minutes. Only Jimi Manuwa, who is likely to face the winner of this bout, made it out of the first round before succumbing to a terrifying barrage of punches. Ryan Bader missed on a takedown and found himself eating punches on his way to unconsciousness in 86 seconds. Former title challenger Glover Teixeira fell to a thunderous uppercut in just 13 seconds.
Cormier has been less active, losing a great deal of time to injuries. He defended his belt against Alexander Gustafsson in one of 2015’s best fights and won what amounted to an exhibition fight against the legendary Anderson Silva after Jones was forced out of UFC 200 by a failed drug test. Cormier vs Johnson 2 Live
Johnson and Cormier have established themselves as the division’s two best fighters in Jones’s absence, and the winner of the rematch will be a worthy champion. Cormier vs Johnson 2 Live
Leaving aside the broader meaning of the fight, the matchup in the cage is outstanding. Both Cormier and Johnson are aggressive, come-forward fighters, but their aggression serves different goals. Cormier, a two-time Olympic freestyle wrestler, wants to get into a phone booth to grind his opponent with takedowns and dirty boxing in the clinch; Johnson, by contrast, seeks to stalk his opponent and draw out an ill-advised punch or takedown attempt that he can counter. Cormier vs Johnson 2 Live
The matchup boils down to two fighters who will try to fight fire with fire. Which of those approaches is likely to come out on top? Let’s break it down. Cormier vs Johnson 2 Live
We’ll start with the champion Cormier.
He began his MMA career as a small (5 feet 11) and somewhat rotund heavyweight, but one blessed with exceptional speed relative to his lumbering opponents. This drove him toward a game based around stick-and-move striking on the outside that played to his quickness. He would clinch and shoot the occasional takedown, but only in the right matchups and at the right time,; he was always aware of the need to rely on technique rather than raw strength.
At light heavyweight, his speed advantage is gone when facing fighters like Jones, Gustafsson, or Johnson; on the other hand, he invariably holds an advantage in strength and wrestling skill. In that context, aggression and pressure are the logical responses to giving up height and speed to his opposition. Cormier needs to work his way inside as quickly and efficiently as possible, and he has built his game around doing that. A crisp and consistent jab covers his forward movement and he kicks regularly to cut off his opponent’s escape angles.