UFC 187: Johnson V Cormier

UFC 187 saw a double-header for the main event, with Chris Weidman defending the Middleweight title against Vitor Belfort, whilst Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier fought for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight title.

Weidman successfully defended his belt, finishing the fight in the first round with ground and pound after taking Belfort down. Belfort had success early and cut Weidman with a flurry, but when the fight went to the ground, Weidman was in complete control and referee Herb Dean had to step in.

Johnson started his fight with Cormier well, landing a big right that put DC down. However, Cormier was straight back up and Johnson looked to repeat, but missed, allowing Cormier to take advantage and control the fight with his wrestling. The start of the second saw some kicks exchanged before Cormier was able to take Johnson down again, spending the rest of the round threatening Kimoras and getting in some ground and pound. A visibly exhausted Johnson came out in the third round and Cormier was soon in control and able to get Johnson’s back before applying a choke and submitting Johnson to win the fight and the title. Immediately after the match, Cormier told former champion Jon Jones that he was waiting for him. However, I would like to see his defence against Alexander Gustafsson.

A special mention to Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski for an amazing fight in the heavyweight division. It was all over in the first round, but some huge punches were exchanged. At one point, Browne was in trouble against the cage, but managed to put Arlovski down. Arlovski recovered and managed to finish the fight against the cage as the referee stepped in, with Browne wobbling all over the place. Arlovski’s recent run, coupled with this impressive display, could see him in line to face the winner of Cain Valasquez V Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188.


Review: UFC 182

A clear and deserved win for Donald Cerrone, who didn’t really look troubled by Myles Jury throughout the fight. Cerrone threatened several submissions through Round 1 and finished Round 3 with some huge leg kicks on a prone Jury. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 and it was impossible to argue with that verdict. With Pettis fighting Dos Anjos next, it will be interesting to see who Cerrone fights next.

Jon Jones retained his title against Daniel Cormier and finished with a number of takedowns. I scored the fight 49-46, along with the three judges; despite Jones celebrating at the end of Round 2, I gave that one to Cormier. The only other round that could have gone to DC was Round 3, but he didn’t do enough to take it and Jones dominated through the championship rounds. There was evidence of the dislike at the end, with Jones celebrating before time, a couple of strikes after the horn (including one that brushed Herb Dean) and Jones being less than complimentary about DC when being interviewed afterwards. Jones against the winner of Gustafsson V Johnson looks the next likely title defence.

Poll: UFC 182

Preview: UFC 182

An excellent end to the year with UFC 181 (surely Lawler V Hendricks 3 will happen) is possibly bettered by the start of 2015. The main events see Jury V Cerrone and Jones V Cormier.

Cerrone V Jury sees two fighters who are on great runs meet, with the winner arguably in line to be the next to face Anthony Pettis for the Lightweight title. Jury is still unbeaten, but Cerrone seems determined to end that, feeling that Jury was disrespectful to training partner Diego Sanchez after their fight. This will be Jury’s toughest test to date. I think it will be close, but Cerrone will win it through better striking. The only disappointing aspect to this fight is that it is over three rounds instead of five.

Jones V Cormier has it all; a title (Light-Heavyweight), two fighters who are not only amongst the best in their weight class but amongst the best pound-for-pound and a genuine dislike for each other. DC is one of the best wrestlers in the UFC, but Jones has pointed out it will be an MMA match as opposed to a wrestling match. Also, it was thought that Glover Teixeira could beat Jones through a grind against the cage, something that Jones beat him at. Jones always seems able to rise and beat world-class fighters. If DC can take Jones down, he will be in with a great chance, but I think Jones will retain his title and go on to fight the winner of Gustafsson V Johnson.