Well, who the hell saw that coming? In one of the more baffling performances I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson decided to implement an interesting game plan in his rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 210. Directly after losing in the exact same sequence of movements, Johnson did the unexpected and retired from the sport at the height of his powers. And he wasn’t the only fighter to call it a career. Let’s delve into the fallout of UFC 210.
Daniel Cormier makes his return to the octagon at UFC 210 against a pretty familiar face. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is no stranger to the UFC champion which means this rematch can take on a very interesting pace. It’s always interesting to see how two fighters have evolved since fighting once before. It’s a tough match to call with a number of different variables to keep in mind. Will it be the suffocating wrestling and grittiness of the champion or the powerful strikes of the challenger? Let’s analyze this ish.
Earlier today UFC posted on their website that Daniel Cormier is set to fight Anthony Johnson on the UFC 210 card at Key Bank Arena in Buffalo. This will be the second time the heavyweights will meet in the octagon, with cormier winning the first bout via rear naked choke after surviving a first round knockdown. Cormier then went on to defend the title against Alexander Gustafsson in an instant classic. A knockdown, drag out, war.
As crazy as it may sound to haters like Uproxx’s Jessica Hudnall, Ryan Bader should be looking at a title shot right now. He’s won five straight in a weight class that is nearly impossible to do so in, he’s done so over increasingly impressive competition, and he’s looked more and more well-rounded with each performance. On the heels of a one-sided decision win over returning former champ Rashad Evans, it seemed as if Bader was all but guaranteed to be the man to face the winner of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier (which FYI, will be Jon Jones).
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the modern era of the UFC, it’s that Reebok Fight Kits are terrible. If there’s a second thing we’ve learned, it’s that title fights are *never* guaranteed. As such, Bader has once again been passed over and instead booked against his toughest opponent to date…
***Late last night, former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Johnson took to Twitter and Facebook to vent his frustrations regarding an “ugly woman at the gym” who was “stretching where people are supposed to lift.” It was an incredibly poor lapse in judgement for Johnson, who has a long and very public history with domestic violence, and he has wisely since deleted the posts. But in the hopes of curbing Johnson — or any other MMA fighters, really — from posting something incredibly stupid and/or defamatory on social media in the future, we’ve written the following open letter.***
Will Vitor Belfort roundhouse kick his way to becoming the new UFC middleweight champion? Will the winner of Johnson vs. Cormier be considered the true light heavyweight champion? How soon after the main event winner is announced will we see the predictable “I got next” tweet from Jon Jones that is immediately deleted?
The short answers to those questions: No, no, and 30 seconds. But join us anyway as we examine the UFC 187 betting lines (courtesy of 5dimes) and try to steer clear of the land mines known as the undercard while swinging for the fences on the main card.
Nation, UFC 187 is approaching us, and what was once being touted as one of the greatest cards in Zuffa history is now simply “a very good one.” The card took some bumps and bruises — quite literally when original UFC 187 headliner Jon Jones broke a pregnant lady’s arm during his now infamous hit-and-run (too soon?) — but nonetheless, there’s still two title fights and a few important match-ups to determine the next line of challengers to look forward too.
So you know the drill, instead of the same ol’ recycled text recapping each fighter’s recent matches and predicting how they will win this weekend, I’ve compiled an A-to-Z list previewing each and every aspect of UFC 187. Join me?
Although it might not be the card it once was, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone complaining about the lineup of this weekend’s UFC 187 card. You’ve got Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier for the “undisputed but actually still quite disputable” light heavyweight title in the night’s main event, Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort in an “Oh Thank God, they’re both finally healthy” middleweight title fight, and names like Cerrone, Arlovski, Dodson, and Thug Rose punctuating the rest of the card. I mean, it’s no Fight Night: Broomfield, but it’s still really something.
So in order to get us hyped up for this week’s action, the UFC has generously made their Countdown series for the event available online via their Youtube channel. You can check out a full preview of Cormier vs. Johnson above, then head after the jump to hear Belfort talk about the power of Jesus while Weidman challenges Matt Serra to a hoagie-off and fails miserably.
(Fair warning: I can not confirm with 100% certainty that either of those things happen in the Weidman-Belfort Countdown, but am simply taking an educated guess.)
Look at it. It’s glorious, isn’t it? In a UFC landscape currently being dominated by complaints of oversaturation, dwindling fan interest and rampant PED use, along comes a card to finally set us straight, or at least distract us from said oversaturation and rampant PED use for a little while.
(Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, and DMX in the camouflage, ready to ask some hard-hitting questions./Photo via Getty)
The UFC showcase on FOX returns tonight for its 14th installment, featuring a huge light heavyweight title eliminator on deck. Alexander Gustafsson will be looking to book his rematch against Jon Jones, as he dukes it out against rising contender Anthony Johnson in the five-round main event inside Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The winner of this bout will most likely square off against the champion later this year.